Adam Echavarren, a junior at the University of Maryland, College Park who is currently majoring in Studio Art, wrote this entry. He is a new intern at Studio Gallery.
The history of Venice is inseperable from art, and Elizabeth Gruin-Howe’s La Bellissima gracefully continues this tradition. The show features hand-pulled screen prints of Venetian imagery, making use of mixed media and a variety of printing surfaces. Grusin-Howe’s use of wax and powder brings visual depth to her works; a quality lusted after by many printmakers. Grusin-Howe’s choice to manually print the imagery through a screen allows for heightened expression in the works. Whether referencing a world-renowned space, such as Basilica San Marco, or a more private one, as in Secret Garden, Grusin-Howe delivers energy and emotion foreign to digital prints. Her playfulness with color and her willingness to be gestural with mixed media give the series an overwhelmingly experiential quality. Grusin-Howe is very much aware of this, and uses the ability to edition prints to her advantage.
By keeping the imagery constant and her printing techniques unpredictable, she can make each print in a given edition convey a unique tone. La Bellissima provides a unique vision of Venice that surpasses the limitations of photographical work, creating a dream-like space into which the viewer is cordially invited.