'We Traveled Among Unknown Men'
Collaborative Woodcuts by:
With Wooden Sculptures by Oli Watt
This exhibition takes an up to date look at the ongoing collaborative woodcut print project undertaken by these three artists. The project was initiated by Carl and Isak in 2007, Oli Watt joined the group in 2010. The project started out as a means to expand each of the artists’ approach to generating new images. They began by passing around the wood blocks, each artist adding to the other artists’ work. Their rolls as carver, drafter and printer would shift per image, thereby blending their individual styles and constantly creating challenging, unique images that are quite unlike their usual bodies of work.
The first suite of collaborative prints was exhibited at SideCar in October 2014. As in that exhibition, the viewer continues to be confronted with odd, open narratives that never really resolve. The compositions of the recent prints can be dense or sparse in a whole new way and continue to draw inspiration from H.C. Westermann. The newer images, in general, have more details and a greater range of line quality. Isak states that the work has become “more humanistic - there are more people, they are less preoccupied with death, and there are fewer disappointed gods.” The newer prints are also more concerned with daily life. Oli and Isak recently visited Carl at his new home in California. Several of the recent prints depict the desert, a direct result of collaborating in a new locale.
This collaboration has had a direct effect on the artists other bodies of work. Isak and Carl have developed a shifting spatial configuration they employ in their paintings. Oli draws with a knife, directly carving into the wood which has influenced the use of wind imagery and line direction in Carl’s paintings. Both Carl and Oli have adopted Isak’s renderings of "incomplete trees within a forest, which make sense because you never see a whole tree when you are walking around one". Likewise, Oli's wooden sculptures have sprung figuratively and literally from the collaborative woodcut project. Several of his recent sculptures are three dimensional versions of imagery found in the prints.
Isak Applin has exhibited at The Hughes Gallery in Sydney, Australia in 2014, Evans Contemporary in Petersborough, Ontario and Comfort Station in Chicago, both in 2013. He will be included in an upcoming group show at Tiger Strikes Asteroid in Los Angeles.
Carl Baratta has exhibited at The Hughes Gallery in Sydney, Australia and Tiger Strikes Asteroid in Los Angeles in 2015 and The Gowanus Ballroom in NYC, 2014. He will be included in an upcoming group show at New Standard Gallery in Sydney, Australia.
Oli Watt presented a solo exhibition in 2015 at the Union League Club Chicago, participated in a group show at Mount Airy Contemporary, Philadelphia and presented a solo exhibition in 2014 at the Ski Club Gallery in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
May 21st - June 18th, 2016