Fiona Banner and Philippe Parreno
Edge of Visibility
508 W 26th St, New York, NY 10001
4 October - 19 December, 2018
1301PE is pleased to announce that Fiona Banner’s Top Gun (1966) and prints from Philippe Parreno’s 2005 book Fade to Black including A Penny for Your Thoughts, Website, 2006 (2013), A Wise Chinese Monk Shitting Light, Lamp Prototype For Alejandro Jodorowsky 2006 (2013), and Vermillon Sands, 2004 (2013), will be on view from October 4th to December 19th, 2018 as part of the exhibition Edge of Visibility at International Print Center New York.
Edge of Visibility, curated in conjunction with the September-October issue of the journal Art in Print by its editor-in-chief Susan Tallman, focuses on low-visibility strategies in printmaking. With over forty works spanning the 17th century to the present, the exhibition features laborious microengravings and subtle watermarks to evanescent images printed with UV-reactive inks.
“Viewing,” says guest curator Susan Tallman, “is at the heart of this exercise—what it means to see, physically, metaphysically, socially, and politically.” In Philippe Parreno’s Fade to Black (2005), visibility and its opposite take on intimations of mortality: in normal light, the prints appear to be solid rectangles of color; when the lights are switched off, however, phosphorescent images bloom, only to die off into darkness until they are recharged.
The often laborious, multi-step processes inherent to printmaking allow artists to maintain visual clarity before subverting this visibility in the final image. Examples include the highly-detailed, nearly imperceptible details of Chris Ofili’s multi-layered, opalescent Black Shunga (2008-15), or Walid Raad’s refined Views from Inner to Outer Compartments (2013).
The visual hurdle posed by low-visibility prints urges viewers to be more conscious of their sight upon entering the exhibition space. Rare historical works of virtuoustic micrography by Levi David van Gelder, Johann Michael Püchler, and William Pratt, use minuscule text to create images, escaping the conventional dichotomy of text and image. Matthew Kenyon’s Notepad (2007) and Fiona Banner’s Top Gun (1996) bring the tradition of micrography into the present.