Artist’s Statement by Dorothy Anderson Grow
I am a printmaker making intaglio etching prints. I use a material called ImagOn (a film developed by DuPont). All of my finished works are the result of multiple layers built upon this original etching print.
Two-Dimensional Work
The layers on my two-dimensional pieces are a composite of several techniques some repeated and some new. I usually start by adding blends of color with an inked brayer onto a sheet of plexiglass producing a monotype. I will sometimes go back into the etching with colored pencils to create some shading effects or clearer definitions. Next, collage elements are critical to my thinking which add elements of juxtaposition and interest. Many of the collage pieces are inkjet printed sections of my previous prints, modifications of color and scale of the current print, or a newly formed image. I also add textures created from ink, paint, and a variety of sources. Conceptually, my goal is to arrive at a new and unknown place.
Using all these tools and processes, I want to create a visual form of communication that stands apart from other ways of communicating. To me art is a language with a visual vocabulary. Unlike many artists, I do not create to promote social change, political ideas, environmental awareness, or other commendable issues. I began making serious art during the Abstract Expressionistic period. Most of my creative thoughts were grounded in Formalistic thinking. So today, I still find myself searching for pure visual expression mostly in abstracted realism or non-representational art.
Three-Dimensional Work
The courage to do this came gradually. I had been a member of the Washington Printmakers Gallery in Washington D.C. for several years when I began taking my printmaking seriously. The gallery held a very traditional view of what types of prints were acceptable. Prints need to be matted and framed according to a specific standard and computer-generated inkjet prints were not allowed. Since then, they have expanded their views and so have I. I began by creating wall relief prints without frames and eventually free-standing prints with multiple views.
Because these three-dimensional works are created from intaglio prints, they need to be printed first on my etching press. The idea is to combine several two- dimensional prints together. This is a very exciting move for me. I print out several 8” by 10” sheets of paper containing the etching image and then cut, fold, bend and glue the pieces together. Because the majority of my prints are symmetrical, this is an advantage. So compositionally, I consider my three-dimensional works are an extension of the processes and techniques I use on my two-dimensional pieces. I have some new ideas for creating asymmetrical 3-D work and prints on cloth.
I would like to exhibit the two-dimensional and three-dimensional pieces in pairs promoting dialogue through their juxtaposition for the viewer.