Tuesday, June 9, 2015

The Textual Prints of Steven Ford

Steven Ford’s prints present the viewer with a vision of simultaneous contrasts; complexity and simplicity. I was wowed by the tactile nature of the work. His intricately chosen color palettes have more to do with balance and design than a particular image of person, place or thing, but they blow us away with his references to his print ancestors. The homage is clear to see that he admires the works of both Josef and Anni Albers, and the contemporary master printmaker Karen Kunc. These abstractions glitter and dazzle the eye in a blended print tradition of works on paper and works on fabric.
The textures and dimension created with Ford’s multi-layered images respect the traditions of the vibrant, colorful designer Sonia Delaunay and other artists from the Bauhaus, but there are prints that also have touches of an international South Asian flare. Some of Ford’s pieces have curvilinear elements that reflect the master Indian abstract painter Rama Rao. Then there are pieces that remind me of a Stella, or the multimedia exploded drawings of Mia Pearlman.
All in all, I am intrigued with Ford’s cross section of print history. The works are spectacular to look at and they broaden the dialogue on what is a print. He would appear to be fast rising up the printmaking ladder to grab our attention, which he does with ease. Give these gems a look, folks.

Steven Ford was born in Indiana in 1964. He studied art at Washington University in St.Louis, MO, and then went to the Tyler School of Art to receive his Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in 1986. In a short period of time his work, namely his prints, have been shown throughout the US, and his work is included in the collections of the Cleveland Museum of Art, the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, The Philadelphia Museum of Art, and the Helsinki Design Museum, in Finland.

Exhibitions - selected
2013: Paper Space, Wallingford Community Art Center, Wallingford, PA
2013: Victory for Tyler 2013, Ice Box @ Crane Arts, Philadelphia, PA
2012: Centennial Exhibition, Delaware Art Museum, Wilmington, DE
2011-2012: Ripped: The Allure of Collage, Heckscher Museum of Art, Huntington, NY
2011-2012: Terra Nova, Racine Art Museum, WI
2010: Construction: New Work by Steven Ford, JAGR Projects, Philadelphia, PA
2010: New Prints: Summer 2010, International Print Center, NYC
2009: New Prints: Spring 2009, International Print Center, NYC
2009-2010: Sculpting Color: Works in Polymer Clay, Fuller Craft Museum, Brockton, MA
2009: Wrought and Crafted: Jewelry and Metalwork 1900-Present, Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia, PA
2009-2010: Challenging the Chatelaine, Art Alliance, Philadelphia, PA and Helsinki Design Museo, Helsinki, Finland

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