Third Street Gallery archive: 2004 exhibitions: Contemporary Prints by Xylon Argentina

The printmaking process, a tradition that began in Argentina in the late 1800s, allows for the multiple reproduction of an image for easy distribution. Xylon artists work in a variety of traditional techniques, ranging from woodcuts to lithography. Like their predecessors, today’s artists from Buenos Aires are known for their use of an exciting array of color, line and texture.

In the past three years, Argentina's economy has faced a drastic downturn with the devaluation of its currency, the peso. During this time, many artists have been working in what Dr. Patrick Frank, curator of the exhibition and art historian with the University of Kansas, calls the "Interiorist" mode--artists looking to themselves for inspiration rather than the economic and political world around them. This introspection offers the viewer a wide range of contemplative and imaginative images.

The Xylon Society was founded in Switzerland in the 1950s. Xylon refers to xylography, another name for woodcut, and comes from the Greek word for wood, xulon. Argentina has been a country of intense European influence since its early colonization. Argentine art is highly influenced by European movements, and Argentine artists founded their own Xylon Society in 1991.

Dr. Frank was inspired to curate this show because of his interest in Argentine prints and the lack of international art shows in the U.S. in the past few years. Since 9/11, insurance for traveling exhibitions has nearly tripled, making international exhibits a rarity. His goal was to counteract the trend, and create a collection that could be easily transported "below the radar." The show is Dr. Frank's "attempt to make a small contribution to international understanding."

He will be speaking about the art on Friday, March 5, at 4 p.m. in Founders Hall 118. A reception at the gallery will be held Thursday, February 5, at 5 p.m. The gallery is open Monday-Friday from noon-5 p.m. and Saturdays from 10 a.m.-2 p.m., and also during Arts Arcata, the second Friday of each month, from 6p.m.-9p.m.

For more information, contact Lorena Weisenburger at (707) 826-5814.