|Curator's Notes||Artist's Writings|
Paintings, lithographs, color etchings, collagraphs, collages, works on paper
For information & salon appointments: 415-713-3087
The salon collection includes several of the artist's collagraph plates and their signed prints created in New York from 1968 to 1984. Shaffer's work reflects the artistic spirit of the times, the aesthetic theories of Hans Hoffman, Modern and Abstract Expressionist styles, and the first generation New York East Coast Expressionist and minimalist painters with whom he was acquainted.
Shaffer worked his entire life as an independent painter and printmaker who processed his own lithographic stones, and etching and collagraph* plates. He self-published his prints and books at the Printmakers' Workshop, New York and Kala Art Institute, Berkeley, CA. He used the best Rives, Arches, Fabriano rag papers and made his own for the Ox Bow House Grid paper construction series. Since Shaffer enjoyed experimenting with printmaking and varied editions, he mastered a number of techniques. He referred to his collagraphs as "Gesso Relief Prints," which are complex intaglio prints from multiple fabricated plates that stretched the paper to create embossments and textured effects. The plates are made out of metal, fabric and cement paste on ¼" masonite and are works of art themselves similar to low relief assemblage sculpture.
INTERVALS AND GRIDS: collage prints & hand-made books, 1989-2000
A pattern of events creates a grid. The placement of one grid over another until it fits and contentment (i.e. Art) is achieved, each grid having a particular connotation and meaning (rather, pattern of event) until all events lead to a coherent whole. The intervals are necessary to give each grid emphasis of its own character. Building of grids and their random dispersion creates confusion and that which is unsatisfying. External grids don’t mesh. But we are speaking of layers of external experiences to be meshed into a coherent whole. In society there are too many varieties of experience for grids to mesh successfully. Yet, we seek only luminous events. - Gary Shaffer, 1989
HOUSE GRIDS, Cast paper constructions 1984-88:
The string, which forms the basis of the grid, is also designed to affix each “House Grid” to the wall when practically possible. Should their attachment to a wall not be feasible, the strings are meant to fall where they may when framed. The colored paper construction was first formed with the string pressed internally. When these works were thoroughly dry, they were again wetted and printed upon in color through an etching press that defines the forms already in the pulp….
"My objective was to upset the visual balance that I was originally aiming for, to push beyond the formal squareness of my work. The Tetralogy series of paintings are made of four. Each individual painting is intended to be complete unto itself prior to being united with three or more other images to form a single larger unit. As a result, grids of not necessarily alike visual experiences are brought together to interact upon one another and form a larger pictorial whole. Reference may be made to musical concepts such as are incorporated in the creation of a symphony or opera in various movements or acts. The plastic considerations of the painting medium, however, determine the final grid set forth. A series of four dramas, three tragic and one satiric, performed together at ancient Athenian festivals of Dionysys—also any series of four related plays, novels, etc."
This web site is dedicated to the art of Gary Lee Shaffer.
Copyright © Laura Lengyel 2005-2011. All Rights Reserved.
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