In Everyday Every Day, Ritsuko Ozeki’s subjects are vessels of various sizes, shapes and applications- funerary urns, drinking cups, baby bottles- from antiquity to the present. By distilling their forms into dark, gestural icons, she replaces the hand of the original craftsman with her own and reveals the basic similarity and utility of these otherwise disparate objects. In the large, multiple-print assemblage HIBI, (etching, aquatint, chine colle,130 x 154 inches), Ozeki presents the role of the vessel as not only an important tool in the evolution of the species, but as an inescapable part of the life cycle of the individual. Her work is a meditation on human history, habit, and use of resources.
In Unformed Figure, a collection of etchings and wood engravings, Takahiko Hayashi addresses questions about the role and purpose of the artist - specifically, the printmaker - in an age of near-flawless reproduction technologies. He posits that in the ease with which we can copy everything we see, we risk losing a pivotal part of understanding - not only of those things, but of the broader world that surrounds us. Hayashi draws inspiration from the writings and oral traditions of ancient peoples and solitary island cultures as well as from the meditative quality of meticulous, time-honored print techniques. His swirling, chaotic compositions suggest observing a whirlwind from the calm of the storm’s eye or a tidal wave from the safety of the ocean floor.
In his latest exhibit,Brooms and Things, Tom Prochaska continues to explore human form, character and work. The people he depicts in this collection of drawings and paper mache figures are intriguingly timeless- they could be down-at-the-heels contemporary men, Depression-era dustbowl drifters or 17th Century peasants out of a Jacques Callot etching. His characters toil at omnipresent tasks- sweeping, cleaning- but also at creating the tools by which to accomplish those tasks. However, these people give the impression that they are not bedeviled by their labors, but gain from them a sense of accomplishment and pride in the process- similar to the act of artmaking.