October 22nd, 2013  |  Published in October 2013  |  2 Comments


by Fran Watson

Tiger Lily Press at Fifth Street Gallery   October 11 – November 2

Cincinnati Portfolio IV at Clay Street Press   September 27 – November 16

Printmaking is an indoor sport, which may explain the appearance of two (count ‘em 2)  fine Cincinnati Print exhibits as the weather cools.  Tiger Lily, an open press operating at Dunham Recreation Center, and Clay Street Press, headed by Mark Patsfall, offer separate but equal exhibits of fine art printing this fall; a showing of the printmakers who work at Tiger Lily is hosted by Fifth Street Gallery, a co-op enterprise located in a prime downtown location, and “Cincinnati Portfolio IV” is displayed at Clay Street.

Patsfall has put up 3 prior “Cincinnati Portfolio” shows, thus the title. As always, Mark’s exhibits concentrate on more than simply images.  So much of the artists’ personal visions permeate the surfaces. Innovations in shape and arrangement are highly important to their perception of being aesthetically beyond the norm.

These shows meet minds in the area of quality.  Utilizing unusual formats occurs, as in all contemporary fields, in such individual methods as that of Joan Effertz of Tiger Lily in her three dimensional work, “Journey”, where printed paper works as both base and vertical banners.  “Journey” is based on memories of the labyrinth at Chartres Cathedral in France, a site sizzling with spiritual experiences, deserving of special 3D treatment. “Portfolio” puts out more than one print moving outside of the flat plane.  A series of Native American portraits by Yvonne Eijden are etched, then veiled with transluscent vellum.  The effect is loaded with thought provoking opportunities.  They hang frameless, scattered randomly on the wall as if torn from faded pages of history and forgotten.

Anderson – “Quadrants”


Mixed media pieces by Noel Anderson, “Quadrants” , appear as two recognition-defying forms edged in frayed strings hanging by coated wires.  This very sophisticated enigma, colored in splotches of pastels and black, is strangely hypnotic, not so much by what it is, but by what it was and its process of becoming.  Jan Thomas, Tiger Lily, combines sewn cloth and print with a delicate single ginko leaf accompanied by scattered leaves and blossoms.

Perhaps the most startling of this genre is “Nymphenburg Still Life”  by Katie Parker and Guy Michael Davis at Clay Street, eliciting a surprised O.M.G! from me when Patsfall plugged it in.   A white porcelain squirrel dangled from the jaws of a dog, its tail a red, swirly fluorescent light.  It fits the print specification since it  is displayed on a silkscreened blue and gold wallpaper.

“Nymphenburg Still Life”


Since printmaking is more process oriented than many other art forms, delving into the origins of ideas and contributing methods adds much to its appreciation.  Tiger Lily  offers two charming watercolor monoprints by Sheila Fleischer.  “Color Falling” manages to convey color-inspired kinetics in spite of its small size.  This is a seldom shown printmaking division, though simple, easily accomplished, and heavily reliant on the ever-present chanciness of printmaking itself.  The care involved with producing the exact desired image is daunting to the amateur, but in the hands of a master, makes wonder on paper. Which brings up April Foster at the same gallery.

Foster teaches printmaking at the Art Academy of Cincinnati. She has been there ever since she received her degree, inspiring students and producing astounding work of her own. Her print in the Tiger Lily show, “Medusa Revirescence”, is an etching-based monotype. The format is horizontal depicting Medusa and her head of snakes in 5 degrees of darkness.  The same classic etching moves along the surface as if by chance, until it becomes apparent that the images lay perfectly in line, indicating the deliberateness of the final version.  Variations in heaviness of the ink are the random element which render this a monotype.

Jennifer Perdum keeps showing up in my assignments, much to my delight.  She teaches at Miami University, but keeps her own work up and available around town.  Her piece in “Portfolio” carries her signature style in large format.  Wooden pieces, boxes, containers, lathed wooden designs are drawn on a background of dripping pastel color, looking like watercolor washes.  They are, surprisingly, lithographs, drips and all.

The drawing, concise, transparent and angled, is worked  in graphite, which also appears elsewhere in other prints in the show.  The combination is eye-catching since graphite renders a shimmering surface, seriously  contrasting with printing ink.

Ink sinks into the absorbent papers with a deep velvet sigh, making the unexpected , but not intrusive, surface drawing stand out.

Like Perdum, Jack-Arthur Wood, Jr. (Tiger Lily) stands out with his own personal pipeline to the netherworld.  His style is unmistakable, brash, and reveling in shock.    “Transmogrify” is dark in tone and image.  A demonic visage leers out of the picture plane surrounded by letters, which sometimes form words;  sometimes just hang there threateningly.   The trick is to ignore the obvious and find the skillfulness  in his art.  It’s full  of undeniable energy , along with nearly violent aggressiveness.

These two shows serve to illustrate the changing wind blowing through printmaking. The medium is moving away from the wall.  Its shapes are changing, incorporating variety in form and material . An art form once thought to have been a way of rendering small studies is becoming stronger, louder, and all grown up.


  1. Ober-Rae Livingstone says:

    October 22nd, 2013at 10:27 pm(#)

    Just wanted to thank you for taking time to do a review of the Tiger Lily show. It is much appreciated!

  2. Theresa Gates Kuhr says:

    November 11th, 2013at 12:12 pm(#)

    Thank you, Fran, for the wonderful review of our city’s printmakers!
    Theresa G. Kuhr