Renowned Mexican printmaker will lecture at 6:30 pm
Artemio Rodriguez, a contemporary artist whose bold black-and-white graphic works are rooted in the long tradition of Mexican printmaking, will launch the 2011-12 Watkins Visiting Artists Series on Thursday, November 17, at Watkins College of Art, Design & Film. A reception will begin at 6 p.m., with a lecture following at 6:30 p.m. in the Watkins Theater; the artist will be available to sign prints and books after the presentation. The event is free and the public is invited.
Mr. Rodriguez, who recently relocated back to his hometown in Mexico after living in Los Angeles for many years, is well known on both sides of the border for imagery that extends humor and political commentary to the present day with a high degree of imaginative transformation. Through work based on historical texts as well as his own highly original relief prints, he has begun to transgress the printmaking genre by moving his distinctive visual style into unexpected locales and media.
Watkins is located at 2298 Rosa L. Parks Boulevard in MetroCenter; free parking is available in the campus lot. For more information, visit Watkins.edu or call 615-383-4848.
About the Artist
Artemio Rodriguez was born in Tacámbaro, Michoacán, Mexico, and studied agronomy at the Universidad Autonomo Chapingo. He was introduced to art when he apprenticed and learned letterpress printing from Juan Pasco, a master print maker working out of the Taller Martín Pescador near Rodriguez’s hometown. As a printmaker who works primarily in black and white, Rodriguez’s signature style emphasizes simplicity and clarity. European medieval woodcuts and the great Mexican print artists such as Jose Guadalupe Posada have been influential in Rodriguez’s printmaking career. Though comfortable working in a wide variety of artistic media — he has departed at times from paper to apply his imagery on cars and even skateboards — Rodriguez regards his ten years as a printmaker as the beginning of a long quest. His larger goal is to keep exploring and promoting printmaking until he feels he has contributed something important to the medium. He fully expects this to take a lifetime. In 2002 he founded La Mano Press in Los Angeles, an artist-run center dedicated to the promotion and appreciation of printmaking. Rodriguez’s work has been featured in galleries in the United States and Mexico. He has also illustrated and published several books.
The Evil Forest, 2011 woodcut.
The Watkins Visiting Artists Series is an annual year-long program which welcomes nationally and internationally recognized fine artists, designers, filmmakers, educators and critics to the campus and the community. Through the generous support of the Memorial Foundation, this year’s series expands last year’s 125th anniversary series of three lectures by presenting four lectures in the Watkins Theater plus an exhibition in the Brownlee O. Currey, Jr. Gallery.
Below is the year’s full line-up, followed by details on each visiting artist:
- January 26, 2012 – Natalia Almada, filmmaker
- February 9, 2012 – David Hilliard, photographer, in conjunction with Visiting Artist’s Exhibition
- March 29, 2012 – Harrell Fletcher, interdisciplinary artist
- April 26, 2012 – Alec Soth, photographer
The guest artists, whose work crosses many disciplinary boundaries, will give public presentations, sharing their expertise and perspectives on their careers and providing insight into current issues facing contemporary artists and designers, as well as meet with relevant classes in which they will conduct a workshop and/or critique student work.
Updates to specific times and programming for each artist’s visit will be posted to the Watkins website (Watkins.edu/VisitingArtistsSeries).
The Watkins Visiting Artists Series is made possible through a grant from the Memorial Foundation and is sponsored in part by Marché Artisan Foods.
Watkins College of Art, Design & Film is supported in part by the Metro Nashville Arts Commission and the Tennessee Arts Commission.