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Lithograph on white Arches paper, with silkscreen printing on plexiglass, mounted in a frame made of heavy paper printed with an intaglio image of woodgrain. Edition 35: this impression 26/35. Signed by the artist with initials and numbered 26/35 in pencil lower right. A hanging wire is suspended on the reverse, enabling instant hanging on a wall. The framed work is pre-packed in a box ready for shipping as in the photograph above. Frame 23.25 x 10 x 2.25 in. / 59 x 25.5 x 6 cm
This mixed-media print combines lithography, intaglio, and silkscreen to produce a layered shadowbox, featuring a single column sketched in black, grey, and white ink. White crosshatching on black defines the background, while the column is sketched in black and grey, with short horizontal hatching up the length of the column. On the left, white daubs of ink seem to float down the composition like leaves. Suspended on plexiglass, the white marks cast small shadows on the paper. These silkscreen images on the plexiglass face add to the three dimensionality of the piece.
Hurson was a life-long theater aficionado, even writing and producing a surreal theater piece entitled ‘Red and Blue’ at the Public Theater’s Other Stage in 1982. The production featured two light bulbs engaged in humorous, philosophical dialogue. In Vladimir, a stylized doric column atop the black of the background suggest the set of a play, or an illustration of a greco-roman drama. Columns are a repeated motif in Hurson’s work, perhaps standing in for human figures or suggesting the mythological.
Born in Ohio in 1941, and raised in Chicago, Michael Hurson earned a Bachelor of fine arts degree from the Art Institute in 1963. Hurson came to prominence after he was included in the Whitney Museum of American Art’s 1978 “New Image Painting” exhibition. Including such artists as Jennifer Bartlett, Robert Moskowitz, Susan Rothenberg, and Joe Zucker, the exhibition was considered a landmark return to figuration.
A favorite of New York Times art critic Roberta Smith, Hurson drew with a stylish, satirical energy, imbuing everyday objects such as eyeglasses, pencils, and coat hangers with playfully mythological significance. Hurson frequently paired anthropomorphic objects in his compositions, suggesting a dialogue or narrative between forms. Hurson’s witty, intentionally loose mark-making find a parallel to the style of Phillip Guston, with whom Hurson exhibited on numerous occasions.
Hurson often mined art history, experimenting with multi-planed compositions recalling the work of Cubist painters, and producing thoughtfully-sketched interpretations of famous masterpieces such as Georges Seurat’s “Sunday Afternoon on the Island of the Grande Jatte.”
Hurson’s work is represented in numerous public collections, including those of the Museum of Modern Art, New York, Whitney Museum of American Art, Art Institute of Chicago and the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis. He has been represented by the Paula Cooper Gallery, New York since 1982.