The City of Absurdity   The City of Absurdity
Prints / Collographs by David Lynch – Articles

  Tandem Press unleashes David Lynch prints

By Colleen Jungbluth
The Digital Cardinal, 10/05/1998

When David Lynch accepted an invitation to be the visiting artist at Tandem Press in December 1997, international art critics, Lynch cult filmsters and local figures alike waited with anticipation to see the filmmaker's finished product.

With a resumé including extensive work in film, music, photography and painting, Lynch's reputation as a master of media exceeds that of even the quintessential renaissance man.

Now the public has an opportunity to view the master's work, currently on display at Tandem Press. Observers will find that Lynch's artwork is not unlike his filmmaking style--his prints are dark, humorous and behold a sense of mystery that the creator himself has yet to solve.

Lynch, in his pre-filmmaking years, studied painting at Boston's School of the Museum of Fine Arts and the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts. He said his transition to film stemmed from his desire to see his images move and speak. In many cases, the Tandem prints manage to do just that; the images are playful and animated, remaining characteristically Lynch--dark and psychologically elusive.

Many of Lynch's prints are collographs, a technique where an initial image is pressed onto a surface, then the artist adds material to the plate and presses the plate again. The result is often a multi-textural, layered product that accentuates texture and contrasting colors.

Lynch uses the collograph technique in two different ways for the bulk of the work on display. Pieces such as "torso" display stark contrast in both texture and color, regardless of the fact that Lynch works predominantly in black, grey and white. In "torso," as in many of his other works, Lynch applies lettering to the original plate, spelling out the print's title in starkly black lettering that is both childish and sardonic. "Torso," although printed in the black-and-white spectrum of colors, is one of Lynch's more colorful pieces, highlighted by its textural contrast.

Lynch's series of unrelated head prints, including "red cloud" and "Untitled (head)," tap into the artist's meek sense of violence. The noticeably angry heads are crudely drawn and accompanied by smudges of color that suggest dark intentions. These images employ the same collograph technique, but do not display the same textural variation as prints such as "torso."

But in the creation of his work--be it film, visual art or otherwise--Lynch strictly maintains that the message is not definite; audience perception is always diverse. This is perhaps what makes Lynch's work so enthralling--viewers are just as prone to discover a message as the mastermind who supposedly put it there.

David Lynch's work is currently on display at Tandem Press, 201 S. Dickinson St. Tandem Press is open Monday-Friday, 9-5 p.m. and Saturday by appointment. For more information, call 263-3437.


Prints | Paintings & Drawings | Photographs | IMAGES | David Lynch main page
© Mike Hartmann

photos by Jim Wildeman, courtesy of Tandem Press