This month I found myself drawn to Stephen MacFarlane’s monoprints at the Roby King Gallery. The gallery is certainly easy to find in the heart of downtown Winslow. The gallery is featuring three printmakers: MacFarlane, fellow Seattle-based artist Brian Fisher, and Bainbridge’s Lynn Brofsky.
All three artists are offering
monoprints. The beauty of the monoprint is in its name. Each print is unique, a
one-off artwork. It is the full expression of the artist at a particular
moment. They may succeed or fail as soon as that paper passes through the press.
Effort complete. Well, that is almost true. The artist may, of course, add to
the print afterward, but it will still be unique.
Stephen MacFarlane is showing some
of his figurative works. Often male, depicting heads and upper torsos, his
figures are indicated by drawing their shapes minimally and adding washes or
rolls of color. “Dreaming in Crimson and Gold” shows a man with eyes closed. He
is oddly calm, contemplative, still, his status aided by its golden ocher color.
The upper torso is red and black and brings into question the real state of the
dreaming man. Perhaps we see him as the dream.
In “Out of the Blue,” the man is in motion, his right shoulder first seen from the rear. He gets into action from the vibrant, wide brush strokes that simultaneously try to contain the man from further movement. What could be seen as uncontrolled splashes actually have a poetic strength that define the figure.
Images courtesy of Roby King Gallery.
Lynn Brofsky includes a postmodern
layering of buildings or other structures over dominant figurative drawings of
women. The portraits, which also combine washes of background color, create the
opportunity to build more complex narratives. Brian Fisher’s figurative prints use
more stylized abstraction and patterns to define his subjects.
These three artists are a good combination for showcasing similarities and differences in monoprint printmaking.
Roby King Gallery. 176 Winslow Way E. Bainbridge Island, WA Stephen McFarlane with Lynn Brofsky and Brian Fisher. February – March 1, 2020
ABOUT BILL BARAN-MICKLE: 2020 Island Treasure Co-Recipient in the Arts . Recently, Bill has enjoyed exhibiting in several international art biennial exhibitions. Of the three in which he has participated, he won Third Place for Sculpture from the European Confederation of Art Critics in the Chianciamo Biennale, at the Chianciano Art Museum in Italy in 2011, and First Place in Applied Arts in the London Biennale of 2013. In 2013 alone, he will have participated in eight exhibitions: from London to a two-person exhibition near home. In addition, Bill was asked to be a representative for CCAC’s exhibition celebrating 100 years of the Metals Department, and a mix of group shows in New York City, Miami, Seattle and Las Vegas. Bill is the designer of the 10 foot Equitorial Bowstring Sundial located at the Richie Observatory in Battle Point Park on Bainbridge Island, WA and completed in 2015.