Press Room

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November 11, 2009
Contact: Press & Media Relations Coordinator (703-993-8794)

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Nov. 9-Dec. 4, 2009 Opening Reception: Tuesday, Nov. 10, 2009 from 6-8 p.m.

FAIRFAX, Va., Oct. 28, 2009 –This fall, George Mason University’s School of Art brings to campus the architectural prints of Peter Marcus and the large-scale paper and print works of Joan Hall, both of the Sam Fox School at Washington University in St. Louis. The exhibition will be displayed in the Fine Art Gallery in the Art and Design Building on Mason’s Fairfax campus from Nov. 9 through Dec. 4. An opening reception will be held on Tuesday, Nov. 10 from 6-8 p.m.

Professor Emeritus at Washington University in St. Louis, Peter Marcus founded the Washington University collaborative printmaking workshop in the 1970s, and built the first large-scale press capable of printing two different kinds of plates, lithographic and intaglio. As an art student in the 1960s, Marcus was told by a professor that organic and geometric forms should never co-exist in the same work, a rule that he has spent his career breaking. Marcus’ work combines his love of architecture (specifically in his hometowns of St. Louis, Mo. and Jamestown, R.I.) with intaglio, a technique used to describe any image that is printed from a recessed design in a plate.     

Francesca Herndon-Consagra, a curator at the Saint Louis Art Museum compares Marcus’ prints to the work of 18th century Italian artist Giovanni Battista Piranesi, who incorporated shape, systems of lines and patterns in his architectural etchings. “Like Piranesi, Marcus seduces the viewer with the beautiful interplay of marks and space then leaves the viewer to imagine entering the building,” she said. Herndon-Consagra said that Marcus’ large-scale prints both “surround and house us,” and at the same time, they are intricate like a small print. “This wonderful combination of scale and intimacy, geometric and biomorphic form, digital photography and intaglio are all a tribute to the artist’s love of printmaking and experimentation,” said Herndon-Consagra.     

Joan Hall is a Kenneth Hudson Professor of Art at Washington University in St. Louis, and has also had her work shown nationally and internationally, and published in more than 10 books.  Hall’s large-scale works combine papermaking and printmaking techniques using netting and multiple layers of translucent and transparent paper, which she says gives them the “impression of floating images, conveying deep memory of time.” The layers are only attached at the top, allowing air currents to gently move the papers, which “taunts the viewer to fix the ‘right’ perspective.”      

Helen Frederick, an associate professor in Mason’s School of Art, said, “as viewers we intuit Hall’s phenomenal spaces as water, wind, currents and waves. … These works seamlessly shift our vision from reality to metaphor and leave us not only with many realms of poetic meaning but perhaps a new sense of mobility as well.”

About the Galleries

The Galleries are located on Mason’s Fairfax campus. The Johnson Center Gallery is located on the main level of the George W. Johnson Center in the heart of the campus. The School of Art Gallery is located on the ground floor of the Fine Arts Building in room B104. The Mason Hall Gallery is on the ground floor of Mason Hall on Mason Pond Drive. Galleries are open Mon. through Thurs., from 9 a.m. to 7:30 p.m., Fridays 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., unless otherwise noted, and by appointment. The Concert Hall Gallery is open Tuesday – Friday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. The Gallery Program is a division of Mason’s College of Visual and Performing Arts, home to the Center for the Arts. The College of Visual and Performing Arts exists to create an academic environment in which the arts may be considered both as individual disciplines and as interdisciplinary forms that strengthen each other. Believing that an education in the arts is deepened by regular contact with the work of distinguished visiting artists, the College draws on a variety of professional presenting and producing units where artists from across the country and around the world regularly perform, give master classes, work with students during extended residencies, and interact with the community in a variety of other ways. These programs at the Center for the Arts Concert Hall, TheaterSpace, Galleries, Harris Theater, and other venues, provide a diverse selection of challenging and entertaining cultural experiences for the University community, as well as Northern Virginia and the greater Washington, D.C. area. The College is home to the Schools of Music, Dance and Art, the Department of Theater, as well as the Computer Game Design, Arts Management and Film and Video Studies programs.

About George Mason University

Named the #1 national university to watch in the 2009 rankings of U.S. News & World Report, George Mason University is an innovative, entrepreneurial institution with global distinction in a range of academic fields. Located in Northern Virginia near Washington, D.C., Mason provides students access to diverse cultural experiences and the most sought-after internships and employers in the country.  Mason offers strong undergraduate and graduate degree programs in engineering and information technology, organizational psychology, health care and visual and performing arts. With Mason professors conducting groundbreaking research in areas such as climate change, public policy and the biosciences, George Mason University is a leading example of the modern, public university.