Mount Machapuchari, Nepal, view 8, (2018), Indigo ink on Japanese kozo-shi paper, 28” x 38”

This week we welcome Beth Ganz, a multidisciplinary visual artist who lives and works in New York City. Her work focuses on the intersection of landscape, digital technology, and abstraction. Her recent project “Axis Mundi” was featured in the exhibition “Photography in Ink: A Look at Contemporary Copper-plate Photogravure” at the Penumbra Foundation in Manhattan. 

Mount Machupachari, Nepal (2019), Copperplate photogravure etching on cotton rag paper, plate size; 10.6” x 10.6”, paper size; 16” x 15.5”, edition 10

Her work has been the subject of numerous solo exhibitions, including “Atlas Project” at Cynthia-Reeves gallery, “Up Close and Far Away, Grids and Toiles: Beth Ganz at Wave Hill House” at Wave Hill, and “Geothermal Topographies” at Reeves Contemporary. Her work is represented in many public and private collections, including the 9/11 Memorial Museum, the Library of Congress, the New York Historical Society,the Commission on the Arts and Humanities’ Art Bank Program, and the New York Public Library’s Print Collection. She teaches workshops on photogravure and intaglio and is a grantee of the Elizabeth Foundation for the Arts. Ganz graduated with honors from Pratt Institute with a B.F.A. in Fine Arts.

Mount Heng, Shanxi, China, (2019), Indigo ink on Japanese, kozo-shi paper, 38” x 28”

Her work will be the focus of the exhibition “Overview: Prints & Drawings of Sacred Mountains” from June 27 to August 4 at Planthouse Gallery in Chelsea. There will be an opening reception on June 27 from 6-8 p.m. The following is a description of the exhibit: 

“Mountain peaks reaching skyward tether this world and to the beyond. This connection between the heavens and earth, known as Axis Mundi, is a concept that appears across diverse religious and philosophical ideologies. Accessing Mount Kailash in Tibet, Mount Olympus in Greece, or Mount Damavand in Iran once entailed great physical effort and with it the reward of enlightenment or renewal,” Ganz says. “Now, thanks to the ubiquity of digital images one can visit soaring peaks while seated comfortably in front of a screen. With this body of work representing 64 sacred mountains across the globe, I explore the specificity and power of place at a time when we can move across the surface of the earth in seconds.

Mount Heng, Shanxi, China (2019), Copperplate photogravure etching on cotton rag paper, plate size; 10.6” x 10.6”, paper size; 16” x 15.5”, edition 10

Using the process of nineteenth-century copper-plate photogravure and traditional ink and brush drawing to represent the terrains of mountains graphically and gesturally. Photogravure harkens back to national history records of exploration. The ink and brush process evokes the tradition of Chinese landscape painting. While the printmaking process registers photographic detail, the fluid drawings extrapolate from pixelated data. The square format evokes a grid of surveillance monitors recalling the conversion of the globe into the flat surface through data processing. Sourced from satellite captures fed from space to Google Earth, these images provide an overview, or birds-eye view, of the world. This format helps us see what would be otherwise impossible to see.”

See more of Ganz’s work on her website and Instagram.

Nitin is a visual designer, gallery artist, and community arts activist. Past desk-oriented posts include: PBS, Digitas, K12, Inc., Fox News, The Wall Street Journal and Sesame Workshop International....

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