LnS GALLERY presents the recent work of Miami-based artist Jennifer Basile in an inspiring solo show, The Power of Print: Iconic Images of the American Landscape. The exhibition is accompanied by a catalog featuring an introduction by renowned gallerist Bernice Steinbaum, and an essay by Marina Wecksler, a Venezuelan-born, Miami-based architect, museologist, curator, editor, and publisher specialized in modern and contemporary art.
Jennifer Basile received her Bachelor of Fine Arts from the University of Miami and a Masters of Fine Arts in printmaking from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville. She is currently a Professor of Studio Art at Miami-Dade College. She has presented numerous exhibitions and received residencies and awards across the country, including from the Vermont Studio Center, Kala Art Institute and Jentel Foundation. Basile currently lives in Miami, enjoys all the activities and outdoor sports that the tropical weather allows, and travels frequently to national parks where she works and delights in nature.
Through different techniques – relief woodcut prints, color reduction woodcut prints, intaglio prints, ballpoint pen drawings and an installation – the artist presents us with diverse approaches to the landscapes that seduced her in her last trips through our beautiful country: “On my journeys, I stop at national and state parks, hike, learn about the location, and collect my subject matter. I enjoy creating traditionally-based artworks on a grand scale that envelop the viewer. The difficult, manual labor of relief printing by hand brings me great satisfaction. It is a true challenge, working on a grand scale to create one registered image.”
In addition to its aesthetic and visual value, the artist imbues her work with ecological meaning: “Climate change is playing an immense role in our surroundings and is changing the shape of our landscape. My message is simple: to capture the environment in all of its pure and natural beauty, before it is permanently changed. My goal is to create works that allow viewers to escape [the bustle of the city], while inspiring them to preserve their precious natural surroundings.”
In the exhibition catalog’s accompanying essay, Marina Wecksler writes of Basile’s work: “Beyond the need to recreate the landscape, Basile synthesizes it to reproduce it graphically. She eliminates the superfluous – colors and nuances – by eliminating tones and reflections and staying with a single stroke of a single color. She keeps the essential, the iconic, what can be printed with a single black ink. It is an abstraction process, although the result remains figurative… Even when the landscape is urban rather than natural, she manages to capture and reproduce its essence. Here also, be it a set of buildings seen from a window, or a bridge seen in the distance between the clouds, the created space invites the viewer to flights of imagination… What is captivating about her work, beyond the mastery with which she produces impressions that look like drawings, is its profound depth. One enters visually, and the imagination completes what is not seen. It transmits the peace and the majesty of the place, freeing it of all stridency.”