Carolina Nitsch Project Room is pleased to present a group show titled Surface Tension, which explores varying approaches to physical and perceived surface manipulation in printmaking.

Tauba Auerbach’s six etchings, Mesh/Moiré, record patterns of visual interference between two grids slightly out of alignment, which create a moiré effect. Each print was made by pressing tautly stretched mesh into etching soft ground. The two plates were then printed in different colors, one over the other and the interaction of the two rectilinear patterns produced the illusory moiré effect of ripples. CMYK Print Test Panel (Darkroom Manuals), by Sara Cwynar, borrows an image from a 1980s darkroom manual demonstrating how ink is laid down in offset printing. In the process of scanning the black-and-white graphic, Cwynar transforms the image by moving the page across the scanner bed. In each of these silkscreens, the 3- and 4-color prints (comprised of Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Black) are differentiated only by the order in which each color is laid down, resulting in 4 varying colorways.

Jim Lambie’s Sunspots are from a series of 40 variant prints with hand-finished spray paint additions. The digitally printed concentric circles are interrupted by a crude spray-painted blast which are allowed to purposefully drip. The title of the edition references the visual phenomena of a sensory blast on the retina from staring into bright light. Anthology is a new artist’s book by Adam Pendleton featuring 200 silkscreens and a unique cover. Isolated photographs and fragments photocopied from the pages of books in the artist’s personal library are layered with marks and handwriting that verges on abstraction. Reflecting the combinatorial nature of the compositions, each book has a unique canvas fabric cover with a black-and-white pattern, screen printed with one of four handwritten texts.

Thomas Schütte’s Liebe Ute! Alles Gute! (Dear Ute! All the best!) is a suite of etchings with dry-point and embossing that emphasizes the joy of mark-making and materiality. The subtlety of the stamped paper lies in contrast to the physicality and directness of the artist’s hand drawn plate marks. Homemade by Franz West is characteristic of the artist’s distinctive collaged, absurdist bulky sculptures. This work was created with papier-mâché over wood with a self-evident organic process that dictates the surface texture. It’s loosely crafted appearance simultaneously references and mocks expressionist painting, which was having a resurgence in the 1980’s.

Christopher Wool utilized commercial decorative rollers to create endless patterns in his paintings and monoprints such as the one on view here from 1989. This everyday tool provided the artist with ready-made imagery, void of gesture and composition, which allows for flaws and imperfections to become subtlety exposed to the viewer. Both the process and its resulting image reveal an understated encounter between mechanization and the human hand.