Two unlikely subjects meld together at the Rosewood Gallery this month … football and fine art. Michael Litzau of Edmond, Okla., presents his cut paper assemblages that celebrate his favorite sport — football. On the other side of the gallery, 11 members of the Dayton Printmakers Cooperative showcase a variety of techniques and subject matter in the precise process that is printmaking.
Litzau spends countless hours cutting hundreds of pieces of paper in a precise way that can demonstrate a certain pattern, depth or movement. Printmakers are known for their attention to detail. So when it comes to patience, all these artists have the staying power to produce a great work of art.
Litzau, who recently moved out west from the Columbus area, talks about what is so unique about his process.
“I think it would be my attention to detail. I like to work on a piece for hours, and make the tiniest cuts that I can. To take a cheap, ordinary piece of scrapbook paper and by spending hours on it, it becomes something special and unique,” said Litzau, who was born in Milwaukee and grew up watching the Green Bay Packers.
In some of his works, the football theme is quite obvious, like his cut paper assemblage, “To those on injured reserve … we will miss you.” It shows about a dozen images of players in action, surrounded by rose-colored fleur-de-lis cutouts.
“What was brought up quite a bit at the opening was the contrast of what is traditionally thought of as a feminine craft, and here’s a male taking this scrapbooking paper and creating very male iconographic images,” said Rosewood gallery coordinator Amy Anderson. “It’s a very quirky, very different show.”
Other works are a not-so-obvious nod to the gridiron, as in the zen-like work titled, “Gift to the Packers Future 2013 First-round Draft Pick (Datone Jones)” Also, “Tribute to Graham Harrell … Who is no longer with the team” is a hand-cut scrapbook paper work that appears to be several gears until the viewer looks closer and realizes they are made from dozens of football player cutouts overlapping in circles.
Litzau takes the sport that he loves and explores fandom, ritual and fantasy with his meticulous designs, and sometimes surprising color and imagery. He is currently working as assistant professor and drawing coordinator at the University of Central Oklahoma.
Of course, Litzau’s parting thoughts are referenced back to football.
“(The biggest lesson I’ve learned from other artists) would be if you do something, go all in. Don’t leave anything on the field and bring your passion and energy, and good things will happen.”
The Dayton Printmakers Cooperative members are definitely passionate about the printing process. This group show includes several DPC members: Erin Holscher Almazan, Bruce Campbell, Mia Knight, David Leach, Al Lochtefeld, Ray Must, Kathryn Pitstick, Sherraid Scott, Andrea Starkey, Diane Stemper, and Miranda Taylor.
“I’m continually drawn to Andrea Starkey’s two, really tactile collagraphic pieces, ‘Layers No. 1’ and ‘Layers No. 2,’” said Anderson. “She took remnants of wallpaper samples, cut them out, and arranged them on a plate and sealed them down, inked them up as well as brushwork and then printed them. They have a sculptural as well as painterly thing going on at the same time.”
Some of the works have descriptions of the printing process under the title. According to Anderson, it’s something she started with Works on Paper so the group shows will be a little more informative and interactive with the public. Like the beautiful image, “Rose” by Pitstick. It’s intaglio with Chine Colle, an inked print on a varied surface of colored or textured paper.
A few use the silk screen process, like David Leach for “Garden Plot 1,” and “Garden Plot 2.” It’s essentially the same image that is magically transformed by the addition of earth tones in the second rendition.
“We have 11 artists with a lot of diverse processes and subject matter here, all brought together by their love of printmaking,” said Anderson. “This was a great opportunity to show what the cooperative is all about, and introduce them to a lot of people. It’s a great group of artists.”
How to Go
What: Michael Litzau, and art by Dayton Printmakers Co-op
Where: Rosewood Gallery, 2655 Olson Dr., Kettering
When: Continues through Nov. 1
More Info: (937) 296-0294, www.ketteringoh.org