David Driskell’s omnivorous delight in printmaking techniques animates the 50-year survey at the High Museum, reviewed in today’s AJC. Like many artists for whom printmaking is not the primary medium, Driskell adapts the discipline to suit his own purposes. In fact, during a phone conversation last week he described his continual experiments as efforts to make his prints look more like paintings. (To expand “Woman in Interior” 2008, click the image.)
Funny how things work: His layered prints, planes of color barely contained by bold, stylized lines, are richer and more vibrant than the paintings exhibited in an adjacent gallery.
Driskell’s show is installed in the galleries next to the those devoted to African art, which sparks a serendipitous and felicitous dialogue between Driskell’s prints and one of his most potent sources. The stylized features of the masks are the most obvious connection. The fact that he, like many of African American artists of his generation, likely first absorbed these strategies through Cubism, which was itself inspired by African art, must make for a rather weird irony.