On view: December 12 - 17, 2013
Selected by: Katie Michel and Brad EwingWhether levigating stones or exposing screens, throughout art history the printer’s apprentice dutifully performed such crucial preparatory tasks, often blackening his hands in the process. The lore of these sullied mitts evolved into a convenient allegory, equating the necessary alchemy that these assistants trafficked in to literally “black arts,” and therefore a stand-in for the mischievous hands of a devil – more often than not in an effort to lay blame when misfortune or calamity struck in the studio.
To this day, this de facto “printer’s devil” remains not only a necessary “evil” within the complex process of realizing editions, but like any behind-the-scenes artisan worth his/her salt, an inherently resourceful maker and self-propagator.
Published By The Artist makes reference to that last, lonely line of an artwork’s didactic listing which confesses its affiliation, not with a gallery or collector, but with its creator, while championing the discipline of such “devils” in allocating the time to cleanse blackened hands and produce their own work – often after hours – harnessing the same rigor and commitment lavished upon the realization of prints by more celebrated artists.