Andaleeb Banta’s IFPDA Fine Art Print Fair Online Picks
IFPDA Executive Director, Jenny Gibbs, reached out to Andaleeb Banta, Senior Curator and Department Head, Prints, Drawings & Photographs, Baltimore Museum of Art, for her picks from the IFPDA Fine Art Print Fair online. Andaleeb said, "It was a real challenge to choose from so many wonderful options! I absolutely enjoyed the opportunity to spend time looking at art--something I feel I don't have nearly as much chance to do these days."
From among the many marvelous offerings at this year's IFPDA Print Fair, I selected the following 15 works based on two factors. First, I tried to foreground works by female-identifying artists, a guideline in my own curatorial practice and a direction that many are embracing lately in their assessment of what is absent from galleries and collections. The other element I wanted to emphasize is complexity. Personally, I am attracted to intricacy of form, technique, and material, but I think this aesthetic also aligns with the current moment: when we are attempting to pick apart and redress many tangled, long-held assumptions, prejudices, and blind spots in the art world and society at large.
In these works, which range from the 16th century to the present day, their complicated forms convey a desire to engage with fraught and complex materials, narratives, and perspectives. Their intricate appearances or methods encourage to viewer to lean in (or in the digital age, zoom in) closer, to challenge one's initial perception with greater understanding of the detail, the layering, the not immediately visible aspects of the work. They demand and reward slow looking, contemplative and careful thought, and the willingness to remain open to the unexpected and the revelatory.