Mickalene Thomas

We are thrilled to have Mickalene Thomas now part of the Durham Press team! Thomas, who shows at Lehmann Maupin,  is best known for her large-scale portraits of beautiful and powerful African American women, who – highly-styled – recline provocatively within wild, multi-layered backgrounds.  The paintings’ references are wide and engaging – from Blaxploitation and seventies kitsch, to Manet and Matisse, to Seydou Keita and Malick Sedibe.

Below is “Le Dejeuner sur l’herbe”,  a huge painting that was made for MoMA and is currently on display by the entrance on 53rd Street through the end of the year.

Over the past two years Mickalene has also started making still lives and landscapes – again, large-scale, intense, layered, and full of intriguing references.

It is the landscape that she chose to work on for her first project at Durham Press, and she began this summer by making the most remarkable print! It is a combination of woodblock, silkscreen, collage and digital photography.  It measures roughly 52″ x 70″ and is yet untitled… but here is a sneak peek! Its official launch will be at this year’s print fair. More pictures to come!


Beatriz Milhazes Gold Rose Series

In September of 2009, Beatriz Milhazes returned to Durham Press to take on another enormous project, a series of seven prints that came to be called the Gold Rose Series. During her four-week stay she worked with a team of five to realize the beautiful proofs seen in the pictures below. She was also filmed for a documentary that is being made about her by Goritzia Filmes.

The Gold Rose Series is comprised of two singles, a diptych and a triptych all measuring 31 and a half inches in height – but of various lengths. The series uses warm color schemes, botanical forms as bold graphics and patterning, and intricate detailing typical to Milhazes’ work.


The series is now in production and will be released this spring. We expect Beatriz back to sign in April, when we plan to celebrate the completion of the edition with a reception of these impressive new works. More information on this soon. James Cohan Gallery will also host an exhibition of the works that opens April 1st in New York.


James Nares back @ Durham Press


James Nares, long-time Durham Press friend and collaborator , returned to the studio recently to complete work on his new screenprint, THUMP. This new edition is the 13th print James has created at Durham Press, and he and JP (the master printer here) continue to push the dynamic dimensionality of his painted brushstrokes into amazing, rich, vibrant screenprinted editions. When asked recently about his experience of working at Durham Press and with JP on this process, James said:

Working at Durham Press is really a pleasure. JP’s knowledge of, and experience with the silkscreening process is second to none, and working with him is a collaboration, as with another artist. He has come up with an ingenious method to create screen prints of my brush strokes which have all the body and tones of an actual, painted brush stroke, but without the use of half-tone…

For those maybe unfamiliar with the screenprinting process, creating a halftone is the process of turning all the tone in an image into various sized and spaced dots in order to create the tonal variation. This allows all of the tone to be printed at once and is what you are looking at when you see a black and white photo printed in the newspaper, for example. What gives James’ prints the fluidity, the subtle shift in tone and the overall richness of color is that is is not printed as a halftone, but is rather broken down into 10-15 layers of varied tone and color and then rebuilt, through printing each layer one on top of the other. It is a complicated process, but creates a seamlessness in the color and tonal shifts that would not be possible otherwise.

To see THUMP as well as some of the other work James has produced with Durham Press, please visit our booth at the IFPDA Print Fair in New York City. The fair is held at the Park Avenue Armory and runs from November 5th – November 8th, 2009.


Also, James film Rome in ’78 is currently being shown at MOMA as part of the film exhibition, Looking at Music: Side 2. The next screening will be on Saturday, November 28th at 7:30 p.m. The film, according to the MOMA website, is “a narrative about the Roman emperor Caligula set in a shabby Manhattan apartment, proposes an analogy between ancient Rome and modern America as cultural empires. The image below is a still from the film.

Rome 78 Eric David & Lydia

Ray Charles White @ Senior & Shopmaker Gallery

Last week, the whole Durham Press staff attended the opening for Ray Charles White’s Recent Work exhibition at Senior & Shopmaker Gallery. A good time was had by all, and the show looked amazing. Below are some installation shots from the exhibition. All pieces in the show are recent collaborations with Durham Press.


Into the Woods by Ray Charles White


Refraction and Treeline 1


Reading the Water




Treeline 2


Into the Woods and Fractal Studies

Ray Charles White @ Senior & Shopmaker Gallery


Next Wednesday, February 13th, 2008, will mark the opening of Ray Charles White’s exhibition, Recent Work, at Senior & Shopmaker Gallery in New York City. The shows runs from February 13 – March 29th, 2008, with the opening on the 13th from 6-8 pm. All works in the exhibition are recent collaborations with Durham Press, and the studio crew have been working tirelessly to get the incredible new works ready for the show.

The Senior & Shopmaker website features the following press release for Recent Work:

Senior & Shopmaker Gallery is pleased to announce an exhibition of new photographic works by photographer Ray Charles White. The artist, born in Toronto in 1961, employs “straight photography” skills which he honed under the tutelage of Ansel Adams, in combination with computer-based digital technology and screenprinting techniques employed by his long-time collaborator, Jean Paul Russell at Durham Press in Durham, Pennsylvania where these works are fabricated. The resulting images-water surfaces, tree branches, shards of cracked ice-are silkscreened onto anodized aluminum panels producing an effect at once simple and infinitely detailed.

Shooting directly from nature, White captures the tension, tranquility, and emotional potential of water, in all its forms. Like artists such as Vija Celmins, Roni Horn, and Hiroshi Sugimoto, White is fascinated by the potential for pure abstraction inherent in patterns found in water surfaces. By tightly cropping his images and arranging them in minimalist grids, the artist eliminates references to specific landscapes. The reflectivity afforded by their aluminum substrate animates his subjects and further separates them from the static nature of traditional landscape photography. In his essay, Enigma of the Earth, Vincent Katz describes the tension in White’s work between nature and technology: “… there is a deeper look, to the materials and means of transference, and the mechanical nature of what we are looking at takes precedence. White takes a salutary distance from Warhol’s undeniable influence, taking a more cautious approach, toeing a line between nature and technology.”

Below are images of the pieces in Recent Work in production. The entire Durham Press crew will be in attendance at the opening, and it should be an amazing night. For more information, please visit the Senior and Shopmaker website here.


Ray and Jason discussing one of the screens Jason is preparing to print


Refraction by Ray Charles White, a new piece to be included in the show


Chris and Jackie cleaning one of the new screens


another new piece, titled Parallax, to be included in the show


Chris and Jason look over one of the just-printed panels for the large-scale piece tentatively titled Into the Woods

Ray Charles White has been out to the Press quite a bit lately, hammering out ideas for several new editions and finalizing the details on works already in progress. Much of this work will debut at Ray’s show at the Senior & Shopmaker Gallery in February. In the photos below, you can see the preliminary images of an as-yet-untitled diptych.

JP working on the composition of a new as-yet-untitled Ray Charles White diptych



Ray Charles White was out at the Press all last week working on proofs for three of his new editions. In the photo below, you can see one of his new photogravure prints being revealed. The print will be included in a series of three, titled Gravure Bubble Studies, and will be on display in our booth at the IFPDA New York Print Fair.


Making photogravure plates is a very exacting and in-depth process. The photogravure.com website does a very good job of explaining the steps that are involved and relating the photogravure process to the origin and evolution of the medium of photography. In keeping with this tradition, Ray has chosen to print his photogravures in an ink color very similar to the tone of a cyanotype print. In the photo below, Ray and Chris discuss the new proof while Chris cleans the plate.


Ray also has several other new editions that will be debuting at the Fair. Below is an image of Pericu Palms, a series of three screenprints on anodized aluminum. House and Garden Magazine recently published an article about Ray’s work on aluminum and his ongoing collaboration with Durham Press. To read more, click here.


Emil Lukas returned this week to work on the etchings that will become the second piece of his new monoprint diptychs (you can see the in-progress screenprints in the Emil Lukas post below). The printed image is generated by dozens of etched coins that are individually inked and placed into a copper matrix.

Emil placing inked coins into the copper matrix

Once the matrix is filled with inked coins, it is run through the press. In the second image below, you can see Chris and Jason reveal one of the first prints in this new series.

Etched coins that have been individually inked and are ready to print

Chris and Jason revealing one of Emil’s new etchings

Each diptych is comprised of a unique screenprint to be hung on the left and a unique etching to be hung on the right. In the image below, you can begin to see how each print relates to and alters the other when they are placed in close proximity. Colors that were nearly invisible before, are pulled out and brought to the forefront when they are prominent in the other print, and there is an overall shift in what your eye picks up on when looking at the prints as a pair. The first in this new series of diptychs, U.M.R = L (#0906), will be on display in our booth at the IFPDA New York Print Fair. For more information on Emil Lukas and his work, please visit his website here.

U.M.R=L (#0906)