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For her first solo exhibition in Delaware, internationally renowned printmaker, Shelley Thorstensen, speaks to the uncertainty and fluidity of human consciousness as it reckons with time, space, and identity. In Between There,showcases Thorstensen's masterful, large-scale prints and a series of new drawings, which call attention to the significance of medium and process as an integral part of understanding the artist's intention and vision.
Of her work, Thorstensen writes, "In the medium of the hand-pulled print color and form can be separate investigations into meaning, effect, response. I am very comfortable with that fluid hierarchy: form and color are unlinked and either can assume a dominate role which is not determined until I call the print done. This arena gives me the best ability to get at meaning, and it is complicated enough to serve the purpose of entrancing my attention. The way I work is also how I ultimately make my way in this world."
In Between There examines not only the technical elements, but also serves as a testament to Thorstensen's ability to achieve intellectually provocative compositions that transcend assumptions of printmaking, between the layers, colors, or textures. Seemingly familiar shapes and lines come together with deceivingly coy colors on the surface of her works to challenge the limits of the printmaker's imagined boundaries. While memory is often revealed to be as capricious and unreliable as it is omnipresent and inescapable, Thorstensen sees the surface of the print as an opportunity for memory and emotions to materialize from the cockles of the soul into a medium that unifies the romance of abstraction with the conclusiveness of ink. In between time, space, and identity evolves a link to the mastery and beauty of her prints.
Shelley Thorstensen was born at Fort Sill, OK, to military parents and thus spent her formative years in Europe before returning stateside to Cherry Hill, NJ. Thorstensen received her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Syracuse University where she graduated cum laude, and she holds a Master of Fine Arts degree from the Tyler School of Art at Temple University. In the past, she has served as the president of the Society of American Graphic Artists in New York. She has also taught printmaking at numerous colleges such as Rutgers University, Moore College of Art and Design, University of the Arts, University of Delaware, including her alma mater, the Tyler School of Art at Temple University. Her works are held in the permanent collections of prestigious institutions across the world, including the Royal Museum of Art, Antwerp, Belgium; Polymetaal, Amsterdam, The Netherlands; the Museum of Modern Art, New York; and the Woodmere Art Museum, Philadelphia, PA. In addition to exhibiting her works in galleries and museums, Thorstensen owns and operates the Printmakers Open Forum, a printmaking studio and workshop in Oxford, PA. She is represented by Dolan/Maxwell.
Curated by Michelle Dao, University of Delaware Art History Intern
DuPont I Gallery
New Castle County
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