Atomic Mystic Portraits | 2016

In the summer of 2016 Polly Apfelbaum produced 40 monoprints with Durham Press during a week-long visit. Titled Atomic Mystic series, the prints were made in three sizes with distinct identifiers—Atomic Mystic Particles (13 5/8 inches squared), Atomic Mystic Portraits (25 7/8 x 17 inches), and Atomic Mystic Puzzles (25 inches squared).

The series was created with the assistance of six printmakers who inked hundreds of woodblocks in assorted colors and patterns, including rainbow rolls, which Apfelbaum has been incorporating into many of her recent prints. The artist then spontaneously placed the blocks in printing jigs to explore different color combinations and compositions. These range from structured grids to starburst motifs to geometric, botanical imagery inspired by the Italian Futurist Giacomo Balla’s vibrantly painted wooden flower sculptures.

A departure from Apfelbaum’s previous collaborations with Durham Press, the Atomic series arose from a process similar to that of her sculptural and painting works, such as her “fallen paintings” consisting of many dyed fabric components that the artist arranges in situ on the floor, or her Feelies, which are made of colorful plasticine and clay that is left unfired so the pieces can be changed and reworked over time. Adaptability and fluidity are key features of much of the artist’s oeuvre, and the Atomic Mystic series represents her most concerted effort to integrate these concepts into her printmaking process. Created quickly, each monoprint serves as a kind of printed sketch, revealing unexpected moments of variation and exuberance.

Monoprints from the Atomic Mystic series, as well as other prints by Polly Apfelbaum, are available directly through Durham Press. For more information, please contact Gwyneth Fearnhead.


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New Edition: Mickalene Thomas | Sleep


Sleep: Deux Femmes Noires | 2013, Woodblock, Screenprint, and Digital Print, 38 1/2 x 80 1/2 inches, Ed. 25

Durham Press is pleased to announce the completion of Mickalene Thomas’s Sleep: Deux Femmes Noires. The new edition is a large-scale mixed media collage, comprised of woodblock, silkscreen and photographic elements. It measures 38 ½ by 80 ½ inches and is made in an edition of 25.

Sleep: Deux Femmes Noires is based on a small collage that Thomas used to conceive both the print and a large painting (of same title) that featured prominently in her solo exhibition “Origin of the Universe”. The widely acclaimed traveling show, organized by the Santa Monica Art Museum, was at the Brooklyn Museum earlier this year. Sleep, both in title and subject, directly references Gustave Courbet’s erotic painting Le Sommeil from 1866, but transports the interior scene of reclining nudes to a disparate collaged landscape of bright color and pattern. The work hints at influences from the Hudson River Painters, Romare Bearden, David Hockney and Seydou Keita. Thomas deftly weaves themes of black female beauty, power, and sexuality into classical genres of portraiture and landscape, creating works of stunning originality and strength.

The print, Sleep: Deux Femmes Noires, is a remarkable work made with 61 colors, 58 screens, 27 individual blocks, and 50 different collage components, including mahogany and cherry veneers. Each component and process adds to the lush composition of color, texture and pattern. The figures included in the collage are printed from an interior scene Thomas composed and photographed at 20 x 24 Studio in New York using a large format camera. Many of the landscape photographs used in the print are from Thomas’s personal travel in Africa. This is Thomas’s second work at Durham Press. The first, Landscape Majestic, was produced using similar printing and collage techniques.

Mickalene Thomas has been working with Durham Press since 2010, and her prints are available directly through our gallery. Please contact Gwyneth Fearnhead for more information, [email protected].



New Edition: Polly Apfelbaum | Love Alley

Love Alley 4 | 2012, Woodblock, 32 x 68 inches, Ed. 25

Love Alley Black | 2012, Woodblock 32 x 68 inches, Ed. 12

Durham Press is pleased to announce the release of  Love Alley 4 and Love Alley Black 4  by Polly Apfelbaum.   Love Alley 4  is comprised of 236 blocks and 44 colors.

The prints are on display at the  Armory Show – today through the 10th. Please visit us –  Booth 518, or call with any questions.