Gabriel Feld: Building Prints

Thu, Feb 21, 2019 9am - Tue, Mar 12, 2019 11pm

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A Selection of Recent Visual/Material Experiments

Gabriel Feld’s initial encounter with printmaking was a case of love at first sight. In 2014, while serving as chief critic of RISD’s European Honors Program, Feld gained access to a Bendini press. First came monotypes, later multi-plate color etchings, and more recently, lithographs, cyanotypes, and other less traditional printing and stamping techniques.

Adopting different techniques not only increases the range of the work but also has a multiplying effect. The transparencies of watercolor reappear and expand in more nuanced aquatints etched on the metal plate. More unexpected, however, is how much location—Italy, the United States, Mexico, and China, where the work actually happens—has on Feld’s work, from the blues, reds and golds of Lorenzetti and Duccio in Siena, to the willows of Hangzhou at the beginning of the spring. In that sense, these prints manifest as a traveling diary.

This body of work can be seen as little poems without words. But more than conveying a message, it shares a material experience, an almost tactile sensibility. The prints are constructed with a variety of everyday materials such as paper, string, nets, fabric, ribbons, rubber bands, petals of fallen flowers, leaves, and twigs. In exploiting the unusual characteristics of these materials textures, patterns, translucencies, and opacities emerge. Printmaking is an extension of Feld’s work as an architect—architecture by other means. There is a long tradition between architecture and printmaking, the fundamental aspect of that relationship is a physical connection of materials and ways to assemble them to make prints, as if the press bed were almost a construction site.

Gabriel Feld is an architect, teacher, and printmaker. He has been a professor at Rhode Island School of Design since 1990, serving as head of the architecture department (1997-2002) and chief critic of the European Honors Program in Rome (2014-16.) He has also taught at China Academy of Art, Dessau Institute of Architecture, Universidad Torcuato Di Tella, Harvard Graduate School of Design, Boston Architectural Center, and Universidad de Buenos Aires. His teaching includes design studios and lecture courses dealing with urban culture, as well as other cultural and artistic concerns. His artwork—printmaking and installation—has been exhibited in China, Europe, the US, and Argentina. His architecture practice both in his native Argentina and in the US has involved residential and institutional projects, large-scale affordable housing, industrialized construction, urban design, and transportation. Feld received his Architecture Diploma from the Universidad de Buenos Aires in 1980 and his Master in Architecture from Harvard University in 1988.

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