“Print / Imprint: Asheville Printmakers”, photographs by Carl Chiarenza and “Tools of Happiness”, featuring works by George Ray Shelton, are on display at Piedmont Arts until January 8.
“Print / Imprint: Asheville Printmakers” features the work of an independent alliance of artists working in the Asheville, North Carolina area who express themselves through print.
The group’s work encompasses a wide range of processes and content, from traditional to experimental and from classic to contemporary. Their printing methods vary from relief printing such as woodcut, linocut, and woodcut to intaglio methods such as drypoint, etching, and collagraphy. Some use alternative photographic printing processes such as platinum-palladium and biochromate gum; others employ one-design and variable editions in their work. A common thread is a practical implication in the making of prints.
Carl Chiarenza is inspired by both beauty and human links with landscapes. Recognizing that traditional representations of landscapes in paintings are constructed, Chiarenza began to approach her photographs as abstract and emotional constructions that allow us to examine nature in relation to oneself.
The key characteristic that dominated his style was nyctophilia, or a preference and comfort in the dark. His photographs do not offer familiar faces or landscapes; there is no obvious cultural or psychological framework allowing the viewer to construct his response. On the contrary, the lack of specificity and the feeling of timelessness remind us that all photographs are constructions of reality which produce various interpretations relating to each viewer.