In Spring 2011, the Milwaukee Artists’ Resource Network (MARN) – dedicated to “helping the Creative Class of Greater Milwaukee have sustainable careers” – asked me for a donation of 20 small, editioned art works, which were to be sold in order to help fund the organization. Rather than produce one small print 20 times over, for South Bend Composition I made one large scan to be auctioned off at a higher price (45 x 25 inches), then produced 20 unique details from the larger image, each at 5 x 5 inches. All 21 prints were donated to MARN for their benefit auction. Original image above, samples below:
In July of 2007, I worked with a master printer to complete eleven new performative prints, while on residence at the Frans Masereel Centre in Belgium. The ’seed’ images were created a few months earlier, by traversing the Irish landscape with my desktop scanner and battery pack. I then took details from the digital prints and iteratively re-made them by hand; I used a computer to sketch out some possibilities, and then more traditional printmaking processes for the final editions: stone lithography, silk screen, woodcut, drypoint and engraving. Here, the dialogs between virtual and actual, performance and art work, are archived as a suite of material objects.
Landscapes and Icons was a duo exhibition (alongside Paul LaRoque) with 14 pieces made through performative scans of the landscape in Dublin and West Cork, and published by the Haydn Shaughnessy Gallery.
“Nathaniel Stern exhibits the latest series of prints from his ongoing Compressionist studies. He ‘compresses’ bodies, spaces and objects by traversing their surfaces with an image scanner, virtually ‘tracing’ or performing their various 3-dimensional shapes. After these have been compressed into digital images the size of a small sheet of paper, the files are stretched, cropped and digitally colour manipulated.”
“… These images have … been ‘iterated’ or repeated, utilizing traditional techniques such as etching, aquatint, engraving, monotype and lithography. Stern sometimes affectionately refers to these as ‘retro-Compressionist prints,’ produced with a ‘500-year-old digital process.’ On show are 17 archival lambda prints on metallic paper, as well as 13 hand-made works using traditional printmaking techniques.”
Essays: “nathaniel stern: the compressionist,” by Clive Kellner, Director, Johannesburg Art Gallery “narrating the database: the performative and iterative prints of nathaniel stern,” by Wilhelm van Rensburg, Art Educator, University of Johannesburg
Editor: Nicole Ridgway
Design: Ellen Papciak-Rose
Publisher: Nathaniel Stern and Art on Paper Gallery
Date of Publication: 2007
ISBN: 978-0-620-37812-3 Download as PDF (1.4mb)
Available from Gallery AOP, Johannesburg