The Pollock Gallery of the Division of Art at SMU’s Meadows School of the Arts will open two exhibitions on January 25: Form Follows Color, which explores the union of painting and ceramics, and Riso Bar, an interactive show dedicated to the creativity of risograph printing technology. Form Follows Color runs through February 29, 2020, and Riso Bar continues through December 15, 2020. The opening reception for both exhibits is January 25 from 1 to 5 p.m.
Form Follows Color:
In the 2019 fall semester, SMU Division of Art professors Barnaby Fitzgerald (painting) and Brian Molanphy (ceramics) brought their separate courses together for a collaboration to combine painting and ceramics in bas-relief. Form Follows Color focuses on the pedagogical thinking behind the task of making an image with clay, firing it into a bisque and painting it. While two- and three-dimensional works are typically seen as separate, Molanphy says, “Bas-relief, and ceramics in general, are the happy confluence of dimensions. To cut and to build clay in order to draw reveals a profound sense of line, tone, volume, shape and color.” The works exhibited in Form Follows Color are a mix of bas-relief pieces as well as paintings, studies, tests and experiments from B.F.A and M.F.A. students, teaching assistants and professors who participated in both classes.
The risograph is a printing technology defined by its relative simplicity and possibilities for experimentation. Invented in Japan in the 1940s, the technology was imagined as a cost-effective and environmentally friendly alternative to photocopy machines. In subsequent decades, riso has become a definitive creative tool for a global network of users including artists, designers, publishers and universities. Riso Bar is a collaborative exhibition that engages with the vast riso network, exploring the risograph’s potential as a tool for learning and experimentation. Over the course of the exhibition, a risograph machine will be available for public use while the Pollock Gallery is open. The machine forms the core of the exhibition: “It is what we learn with, practice with, and make with,” says curator Sofia Bastidas. Visitors to the Pollock Gallery are invited to use the risograph to create works of their own. A series of free, public workshops led by riso producers from Texas and elsewhere will allow visitors to develop and expand both their skills and knowledge of riso history and practices. In collaboration with SMU’s Hamon Arts Library, Riso Bar will include a curated collection of riso books and zines from all over the world, as well as fresh juices for purchase from Recipe Oak Cliff, playing off the ideas of the riso “bar.”
“Riso Bar is a long-term exhibition for collective learning and skill building,” says Bastidas. “Our hope is that it will be a launching pad for a new riso press in Dallas after the exhibit concludes.”
The exhibition is a collaborative initiative between Strange Powers Press, May Makki, Finn Jubak, Recipe Oak Cliff and the SMU Hamon Arts Library.
- Strange Powers Press is a letterpress and risograph studio operating out of Dallas. Powered by a Riso GR 3770 and a Vandercook Proof Press, founders Mylan Nguyen and Taro Waggoner make it their mission to promote and publish interesting zines and prints as well as hold workshops on various forms of printmaking and making small publications.
- Finn Jubakwas born and raised in New York City and received a B.A. in film from the University of Chicago in 2018. His work in photography and film engages the materiality of landscape and expressiveness of everyday objects. His images have been published in Hamburger Eyes and Aint-Bad. He currently lives in Dallas.
- May Makkiis interested in collaborative systems and practices. She received her B.A. in art history from the University of Chicago, where she focused on the relationship between art, technology, media and politics. She is the curator of a private collection in Dallas.
- Recipe Oak Cliff is a food venture of The Susu Cultural Business Incubator, dedicated to addressing food security issues and supporting health food entrepreneurs in South Oak Cliff.
- The Hamon Arts Library serves SMU’s Meadows School of the Arts and the arts community. Its circulation and reference collections contain more than 180,000 items relating to the visual and performing arts. In addition, the library has some 300 subscriptions to arts periodicals and provides access to more than 40 online resources that are specific to the arts. The purchase of the risograph books and zines in conjunction with the Riso Bar exhibition is possible thanks to the Gail Turner Fund, Hamon Arts Library, SMU.
About the Pollock Gallery:
The Pollock Gallery has recently moved to the east campus of SMU and is now located in Suite 101 in Expressway Tower, 6116 North Central Expressway, Dallas 75206. Gallery hours are 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and 1 to 5 p.m. Saturday. The gallery is closed Sunday and Monday. Parking and admission are free. For more information, call 214-768-4439 or visit the Meadows School calendar.