Sara Greenberger Rafferty
Wingate Studio is pleased to present our second collaboration with Sara Greenberger Rafferty, Variations and Eye Test, two new editions made in summer 2018. Rafferty utilizes a range of industrial processes in her artistic practice, including kiln-formed glass, printing, powder- coating, intaglio etching and others. For this project, Rafferty chose to print photogravure images on handmade Japanese Kozo and Gampi paper adhered to backing sheets using the chine collé process. The photogravures were reproduced from slide positives found in a photography teacher’s pre-digital archive on Ebay.
Variations is a composition of 33 repeated images. In some cases the iconic image is inverted, adding an element of distortion that counters any semblance of pattern, and creating a unified whole. Eye Test grew out of Variations and features nine identical images, each printed on a different color of the delicate paper. The color progressions in each work are loosely inspired by printing manuals of the 1970’s, 80’s and 90’s, as well as an outdated function in Photoshop called Variations, itself a version of an analogue printing process known as a “ring-around.” In a visual form of semantic satiation, the eye moves across the repeating features until original meaning gives way to something new.
As in much of her work, Rafferty raises issues of relativity, distortion and vulnerability as she rescues and re-contextualizes these orphaned images. Dropped into the contemporary cultural context, the handmade photogravures are both out of time and documents of technical historical processes. Other images from the same photography archive, along with others, appear in work presented in the artist’s fifth solo show at Rachel Uffner entitled Testing, opening September 12, 2018.
Sara Greenberger Rafferty has exhibited widely since 2001, including solo exhibitions at MoMA PS1 (New York), The Kitchen (New York), Eli Marsh Gallery at Amherst College, Fine Arts Center Gallery at University of Arkansas, and a commissioned sculpture for the Public Art Fund. Gloves Off, the first traveling survey of her work with accompanying fully illustrated catalogue published by SUNY Press, completed a three-venue tour last year. The artist was included in the 2014 Whitney Biennial and the 2014 Hammer Biennial in addition to group shows at the Portland Institute for Contemporary Art, Oregon; Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego, California; and The Jewish Museum, New York, among many others. Her work is included in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art, and the University of Chicago Booth School of Business. Rafferty is Associate Professor and Director of Graduate Studies in Photography at Pratt Institute in Brooklyn.
With the assistance of the printmakers at Wingate Studio, the artist experimented with the processes available, tailoring them to her own mode of making. Rafferty was drawn to the violence of the press and the way forces ink into the surface of the paper with immense pressure. This became central to the making of the image, and the means by which the various elements of the piece—monoprint, chine collé, etching, and transfer prints—were united. The physicality of the intaglio process, in which the image is created infinitely thin line by line, is similar to the logic of digital printing. Inkjet transfers of to-scale zippers create visual nuisances on the intaglio print, serving as a constellation of deconstructed polka dots that hover over the dress, useless because they are images. United in the final object of the print, the pairings create conversations about consumerism, domesticity, and the body.