Alexis Nutini: Close Reading
Paradigm Gallery + Studio is pleased to present Close Reading, a solo show of the complex systems of printmaking by woodblock specialist Alexis Nutini. Close Reading is a process-intensive collection that will display the intricate operations of carving and printing one-of-a-kind woodcuts, featuring works mounted on panel, framed prints, and painted woodblocks. Nutini develops his own visual language by layering color, pattern, and found objects while combining traditional and modern procedures like adding laser-cut and CNC-routed motifs with hand-printed woodcuts. Nutini’s innovation in his craft is supplemented by his experience printing editions for well-known contemporary artists, expanding the definitions of the master printmaking trade. Close Reading will be on view on the 1st Floor of the Paradigm Arts Building (12 N. 3rd Street) from November 3 through November 26, 2023, with a public opening reception on Friday, November 3 from 6:00-8:00 pm.
As a woodcut printmaker, Nutini invites experimentation in every aspect of his creative process. Nutini works to contrast the determinability of the printing matrix by engaging in what he calls “chance operations”, adding elements like laser cutting, CNC routing, moiré patterns, and collaging found objects. His inventive methods of arranging his signature graphics, VHS cassette tape, and discarded domestic objects with different ink finishes create a dimensionality so that each work is a progression from the last. Inside his studio is his library of woodblocks spanning 15 years, leaving the opportunity to be reworked and reinvented as they appear throughout the collection. While his woodworking and traditional printing skills are at the basis of the work, Nutini continues to add elements of digital technology to push the complexity and create a narrative from his impression. Nutini celebrates the longevity of the woodcut as opposed to other printmaking methods, as the block remains years after an edition is done, transforming into a personal record for the artist. Each piece displays hints of a time signature in both Nutini’s career and his personal life. They mark how his artistic skills flourished and reflect his lived experience, like the memory of teaching his young son how to draw on a computer. Nutini explains, “Even though it’s not overtly in the content, everything for me has a time signature of when it was made. I title my pieces with what movie was on the VHS tape, or what mix was on the cassette. I remember where all of those objects were found. In a way, they are my own personal annotation.” Nutini gives new life to retired woodblocks and found objects, creating a cyclical timeline that documents the past through a constantly expanding artistic process.
Along with his studio practice, Nutini publishes prints for established contemporary artists. He acquired unique visual language and problem-solving skills from being a master printmaker for artists like Sam Gilliam and El Anatsui. While he gives up his artistic labor in his profession, he is honing his craft and ideas through collaboration and exchange. His instinct to approach editioning is to combine a fine art mindset with his craftsman sensibility which leads to success in the trade and the opportunity to collaborate with many local and international contemporary artists.
Because process is auxiliary to the themes of the exhibition, Nutini has constructed an interactive display table, where visitors can choose from a variety of painted wood blocks to arrange and create their own relief prints. This component of the exhibition will allow visitors to connect with both the physical process and the finished work simultaneously, supporting the intention of craft being an integral part of the creation of fine art.
Friday, November 3, 2023
6:00 – 8:00 PM
Thursdays • 10 AM – 6 PM
Fridays • 10 AM – 6 PM
Saturdays • 11 AM – 6 PM
Sundays • 11 AM – 5 PM
And 7 days a week by appointment.