PPE features recent artworks by 15 artists who work in and around the medium of printmaking. The show was conceived the week of the Covid-19 lockdowns in March 2020. In the months that followed, many of us permanently and abruptly lost access to people and places that significantly impacted our lives. For some printmakers, whose practice requires the use of shared workspace and equipment, the closures and new safety measures of the past year precipitated alternative ways of working. Globally we became united in the experience of physical or emotional distance, in grief, and in the recognition of injustices laid bare by the pandemic. With PPE, we present the stories that brewed with artists’ experiences of this time.
We project dual meanings onto the acronym PPE: Personal Protective Equipment, but also Printmakers in the Pandemic Era. Both themes are touched upon throughout the show. All the works featured were made within the last year. You’ll see hope conjured with images made from recomposing historic manuscripts, satellite images of abandoned refugee camps as a result of climate change, an installation staying balanced for as long as it can, and a sculpture imagining a new way of being: outdoors and without the bodies it was intended to interact with. PPE’s artists demonstrate resilience through their art practices as they capture and imbue value in moments of connection.
PPE brings together artists affiliated with some of NYC’s most vibrant print communities: Shoestring Press, LES Printshop, and the LeRoy Neiman Center for Print Studies. We are thankful for these spaces that fostered a community of work and care even in a physically distanced time.
Garrett Ball, Nathan Ng Catlin, Mark Dion, Juan Hernández Díaz, Cary Hulbert, Bicheng Liang & Yixuan Shao, Tahir Carl Karmali, Nicola López, Raphaela Melsohn, Lily Moebes, Golbanou Moghaddas, Jeremy Ruiz, Lane Sell, Kyung Eun You
Curated by Kaela Mei-Chee Chambers and Farah Mohammad
Image by Nicola López