Everyone Always Wants to Find Words
Art by Yuka Petz
Sept. 26 - Dec. 9, 2022
I am interested in language's structure and it's inability to express things.”
My creative practice is centered around language and text. I am interested in language’s structure and its inability to express things. I explore letters abstracted or released from specific words. I see them as herds, moving through spaces, collecting and disbursing. I typically work with media associated with text on a page, such as graphite, letterpress printmaking, typography, etc. My process is tactile and physical, often working directly with letters cut from paper.
In these monoprints and drawings, I am thinking about where language hides when we cannot access it, perhaps in deep, craggy caverns or clinging to the insides of arteries. Words get tangled, broken apart, and move across a space. Where do language and text go when imposed structures break down?
I feel this acutely on a personal level, where communication and conversation still feel exhausting and elusive after the earlier periods of lock-down in the pandemic. I also feel this on a broader, societal level. Ideas and content move quickly and it is difficult to harness both the uplifting and devastating impacts of words.
I work directly with custom cut paper letters in my prints and drawings. I use the cut paper letters in pressure printing, which is a technique similar to collagraphs. The drawings were developed by using the negative space leftover from cutting out letters as stencils.
I am interested in using printmaking techniques in non-traditional ways. Rather than building up an image with different layers printed on top of each other, I experiment with how the ink that remains in the screen or on the block will directly affect the following monoprint. Each print builds directly on the residual ink and memory of the one that came before.
Most of these monoprints are more like drawings. They are not printed from a carved block, matrix, or burned screen. Instead, I compose my image directly on the press or in the screen.
The screenprints in this show were created by passing ink through an open screen. By varying pressure and ink placement, and utilizing ink left in the screen from the previous pass, these prints evoke dark places, formations in caverns and distant landscapes. These screenprints are part of my research and exploratory process. The resulting shapes and textures directly inform my text-based prints and drawings.
Yuka Petz, Artist/Designer, Bio
Yuka Petz is an artist and designer. Working in media typically associated with text on paper, her creative practice centers around language and letters. Her work has been exhibited internationally and across the U.S., and her artist’s books are in numerous special and private collections. Yuka is a regular guest host for the Artist’s Books Unshelved video series and teaches book arts workshops around the country. Before leaving New Orleans for the Pacific Northwest, she was an artist member of Antenna Gallery and a principal organizer of the Artist Book Collection at Paper Machine. Yuka is committed to collaborative and community-oriented projects that increase the accessibility of all things book arts.