"The Step Well"
Intaglio Aquatint Chine Collé.
24" W x 32.5” H.
“The Step Well” references the famous and iconic freshwater wells of India. After a trip to Jaipur, India in 2009, I was taken-a-back and amazed at the geometric precision of Abhaneri, Stepwell in Rajastan. The pure utilitarian construct was a monument to negative space. “The Step Well” presents a contemplative space that builds on the water and reticulated sphere as pure forms. This work was accepted into the 40th annual Contemporary Print exhibition at ArtLink.
Craig Fisher - Toledo Artist
My current employment history involves taking abstract concepts and business models and simplifying the dynamics around the process using metaphorical illustrations. The process was called "concepting" among other names. The value of the art lay primarily in its power to codify a process or an idea in simple terms to the end viewer. It was important that on some level that it was engaging, informative and somewhat entertaining. The methodology involves multiple iterations and reviews. In the process, many versions were discarded or highly edited, like a garment that is tacked together from scraps. As an artist, this art experience taught me not to fall in love with the image as it involved a brutal redrafting of sketch after sketch. I found this process invigorating on some levels as decisions of light, form, proportion and anatomy had to be resolved quickly.
A similar process happens in the evolution of my intaglio works. I still see drawings as mental road maps that allow you to foresee the potential of a future print. I draw them and then I discard them. They may be transferred to the asphaltum covered copper plate and even then they are constantly mutating. I don't give the initial drawing the respect it deserves, because for me the process is fluid and changing.
My subject matter can be varied. I'm fascinated by the tension between the mechanical and the organic. The intaglio process is a synthesis of this duality. Soft pulpy cotton rag squeezed between 600 pound steel rollers on a planetary bed propelled by a star wheel and adjoining gearbox. I like the Old Testament stories, not because I am particularly religious, but because for our society, they offer a common thread or platform from which to build a source of graphic dialogue with the viewer. I enjoy the broad sweep of the epic, the monumental, and the object weighted by time and decay. My compositions are carefully constructed and built up of fine-meshed patterns of hatching, cross-hatching, stippling and dotted lines made with a roulette. Wonderful chiaroscuro effects are achieved by the judicious use of aquatint.
I have created some purely digital works borrowed from my own digital camera and scanner. The results are predictable and in some ways, that is why I have been using the Inkjet printer as a printer of background color. I'm not wasting copper for multiple color images when I am able to use the Ultrachrome inks of the inkjet printer to do that. The digital file is restricted to color for the print. In that way, I use it as the tool, which it is.
As consumers of images, we have become somewhat numb to the computer image. We are seeing the movie industry alone transform with its high polished 3D characters and objects of great fidelity and detail. With each new release, the audience anticipates more fidelity and more realism. This ratcheting up of intensely polished visual imagery leaves little room for personal interpretation. It is interesting to see someone reach for the hand drawn or etched image because it will always speak to us of the potential of our imaginations, which the digital tool and its pre-programmed effects can only emulate. We may not know why we like the hand rendered print other than that it is the one medium which reconnects us with artist/printmaker who to care to pull each print by hand still one at a time.
1976 Bachelors of Arts Degree, Fine Arts University of Toledo, Toledo, Ohio
Emphasis on Printmaking, Painting and Graphic Design
1972-72 Study in the Netherlands Pascal College, Zaandam, North Holland
Gerrit Reitvelt Academie, Amsterdam
2010 Graphic Universe of Craig Fisher, Sinclair College, Dayton, OH
2008 Arts Center Gallery, Illinois Central College (Jan 18- Feb 8th)
2007 Parkwood Gallery
2007 Space 237 Gallery
2006 Foundry Art Centre, St. Charles, MO, Group 4 Award True Fiction
2007 50th Annual Juried Art Exhibition, Rocky Mount Arts Center
2007 Prints Tokyo, International Print Exhibition Tokyo, Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum
2007 3rd Annual Palm Beach National Drawing, Painting & Printmaking Exhibition
2007 MUSE Gallery, Annual National Juried Exhibition, "Works on Paper" 31st Bradley International Print & Drawing Exhibition - Honorable Mention
2007 Boston Printmakers North American Print Biennial - Legion Paper Materials Award
2006 88th Annual Toledo Area Artists' Exhibition - Purchase Award
2005 Visions IX International Juried Exhibition - Judge's Award
2005 18th Annual Los Angeles Printmaking Society National Exhibit
2005 Foundry Art Centre, "True Fiction" Exhibition
2005 Pacific Rim International Print Exhibition
2005 Boston Printmakers North American Print Biennial
2010 4th annual "Art at the X" art competition at Xavier University
2010 Mid-American Print Conference Members Juried
2009 Red Delicious Press- Compact Print exhibition
2009 Halpert Biennial: A National Juried Visual Art Competition First Prize & Purchase Award
2009 32nd Bradley International Print & Drawing Exhibition
2009 Athens Institute for Contemporary Art, "Running on Empty"
2009 Pacific Lutheran National Print Exhibition Cash Award
2009 Manifest Gallery, Contemporary Printmaking
2008 21st Northern National, Nicolet College, Rhinelander, WI
2008 "The Printed Image 2" Washburn Mulvane Art Museum, Topeka, KS
2008 Magnitude 7, Manifest Gallery, 4th-Annual International Exhibit of Small Works
2008 Butler Institute of American Art, 72nd National Midyear Exhibition
2008 MFA "Art on Paper" Exhibition
2008 XXV Lagrange National Biennial 2008
2008 CSU, Chico Janet Turner National Print Exhibition
16th Biennial Small Print Exhibition, "60 square In.", Purdue University- Purchase Award
20th University of Dallas Print Invitational
2007 Body of Christ Exhibit, The Henry Luce III, Center for the Arts & Religion
2007 Eastern New Mexico University, FOOTLONG Exhibition
2007 Auburn Dempsey Arts Center, Los Muertos Exhibition
2007 Halpert Biennial: A National Juried Visual Art Competition and Exhibition
2007 Mid-American Print Council Member exhibition, Elgin, Illinois
2007 National Competition at Rosenthal Gallery, Fayetteville State University
Boston Printmakers at Emmanuel College
Mid-American Print Council
American Print Alliance
BGSU digital Library
Purdue University Galleries
University of Dallas Collection
Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum, Contemporary Print Collection
Crosby Gardens Festival of the Arts Collection
Toledo Area Arts Council Collection
Ohio Department of Parks and Recreation
USAF Art Collection, Washington, DC
Arts Commission of Greater Toledo/ Art in Public Spaces Collection
Toledo Artist and intaglio printmaker Craig Fisher has placed an Honorable Mention in the 2019 Bradley International Print and Drawing Exhibition. Three works from Mr. Fisher were accepted into this competitive national show. The colored intaglio "Mysterium Cosmographicum" was among the award winners.
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