Seattle Artist RobRoy Chalmers Shows New Work at The Printmaking Center of New Jersey

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Chalmers will attend the show’s opening at The Printmaking Center of New Jersey on Saturday, January 7, from 1 to 4 pm.

RobRoy Chalmers' Sporozoan Swarm (detail).

We think of storytelling in the form of the written or spoken word, but from the beginning of the human race stories have been told in the form of drawing, painting and sculpture. Artist RobRoy Chalmers art installations are works of visual narrative.

New work from Seattle printmaker RobRoy Chalmers is on view in The Printmaking Center of New Jersey’s (formerly the Printmaking Council of New Jersey) Main Gallery.

Chalmers’ piece, The Sporozoan Swarm, was curated by Pamela Cooper for The Continuous Thread: Storytelling On and In Paper. In her statement for the show, Cooper says, “We think of storytelling in the form of the written or spoken word, but from the beginning of the human race stories have been told in the form of drawing, painting and sculpture. Homage to the hunt in the caves of Lascaux, images engraved on the walls of the Pharaoh's Tombs and Newspaper Rock in Eastern Utah, all tell us narratives.”

RobRoy Chalmers’ torn prints and drawings are hung with tiny pins on the gallery wall. Chalmers says, “I always refer to the Swarm as one big piece, broken up into small parts.” The Sporozoan Swarm I has more than 500,000 components, made up of torn intaglio and lithographic prints and drawings. The components can be broken off from the main body of the Swarm into smaller clusters. Small clusters of the Swarm are installed in places that are not typically seen as venues for visual art.

“The Swarm’s component structure allows it to ebb and flow through spaces in a fluid way, wrapping around doorways and shifting through corners. It suggests the fluid dynamics of life,” says, Chalmers. “I think this format allows the greatest number of viewers the space to commune with the piece, free of sterile pretense, or limited access. This way of viewing makes the work become more a part of the viewer’s multifaceted memory, rather than a one-dimensional ornament.” Video from a successful Kickstarter project showcases the artist's process.

The Continuous Thread: Storytelling On and In Paper also features the work of artists Aileen Bassis, Marion Behr, and Marcia Widenor. The work is on view through March, 31, 2012.

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Heidi Rettig
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