PRINTS & CAST PAPER
Stewart Nachmias creates cast paper woodcuts that celebrate the energy of urban life in expressionist images drawn from his own experiences as an artist, musician, and performer. Nachmias was born in 1958 in the borough of Queens in New York City, and grew up in Franklin Square, Long Island. As a child he began developing his interest in art along with ventriloquism. Introduced to etching in high school, Nachmias went on to major in printmaking at the State University of New York at New Paltz. After studying at New York University, he worked in Bob Blackburn's Printmaking Workshop, where he met a wide range of artists. He then helped establish Studio 827, a printmaking atelier, located on Union Square in New York.
While developing his own unique graphic techniques, Nachmias worked printing the etchings, engravings, woodcuts and serigraphs of artists including Keith Haring, Peter Max, Krishna Reddy, Dorothy Dehner and Raphael Soyer. Chief among his artistic influences, Nachmias cites the German Expressionists, particularly Beckmann, Kirschner, and members of the der Brucke group, whose vigorous line and social awareness are reflected in his own work. He singles out Picasso for his inventiveness as a printmaker, and both Reginald Marsh and Red Grooms for their evocations of life in New York.
In the 1980s Nachmias created a series of large-scale etchings of subway car interiors and passengers which captured the grit and melancholy of city life. These etchings were created A la Poupee , applying color directly to an inked intaglio plate. This technique gives Nachmias's prints a lively, painterly quality. During this period, Nachmias showed his work in galleries in New York's East Village, including Vox Populi and the 9th Precinct Gallery. In the 1990s the artist began the cast paper woodcuts that he continues to create. His deeply carved wood blocks are both inked directly and act as molds for the hand-dyed paper pulp which Nachmias applies to the surface.
The result is a print in low relief, with rich color embedded in its dimensional surface. Nachmias's work has grown to encompass images of exuberant musicians, puppet shows, and working men, all recalling aspects of the artist's own life playing in a rock band, performing for children and on the job in printmaking studios. There are works which show in vivid colors the spirit of the individual in an urban environment full of danger and excitement. A recent group of three 36"x48" woodcuts focus on the nostalgic charms of Coney Island. And an ongoing series of mandalas, devoted to music, puppets, love and the creative brain give a sense of sacred completeness to the artist's antic vision.
Nachmias has shown his work in many exhibitions, including recent solo shows at
the Albany Museum of Art (GA), the Coral Springs Museum of Art (FL),
the Wichita Falls Museum of Art (TX), the Alexandria Museum of Art (LA),
Texas A&M University, Longview Museuem of Fine Arts (TX), SUNY Oswego (NY),
the Banana Factory (PA), Long Island University Brooklyn (NY), and group exhibitions at
the Susan Teller Gallery Soho (NY), MDH Fine Arts Chelsea (NY), the Watermark Cargo Gallery Kingston (NY) and the De Cordova Museum (MA).