Philagrafika 2010: The Graphic Unconscious

 Philagrafika 2010 logo

January 29 - April 11, 2010

Fisher Brooks Gallery, Samuel M. V. Hamilton Building
Morris Gallery, Historic Landmark Building


PAFA is one of five venues presenting the exhibition The Graphic Unconscious in conjunction with Philagrafika 2010, Philadelphia’s international festival celebrating the print in contemporary art. Philagrafika 2010 will focus on artistic practices that engage the visual, intellectual, and creative frontiers in printmaking and how these approaches relate to social and political issues in the public sphere.
The Graphic Unconscious, the core exhibition of the festival, is curated by José Roca, Artistic Director of Philagrafika 2010, with John Caperton, Curator of Prints and Photographs at the Print Center; Sheryl Conkelton, for Temple Gallery, Temple University; Shelley Langdale, Associate Curator of Prints and Drawings at the Philadelphia Museum of Art; Lorie Mertes, Director/Chief Curator of The Galleries at Moore College of Art & Design; and Julien Robson, Curator of Contemporary Art at Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts.
Exhibited in the Morris Gallery, in the museum’s Historic Landmark Building, and in the majestic Fisher Brooks Gallery in the Samuel M.V. Hamilton Building, PAFA’s participation in The Graphic Unconscious brings contemporary art into the midst of the museum’s collections. PAFA’s School of the Fine Arts is one of the oldest and most prestigious in the world, with a program whose history, while grounded in figuration, emphasizes both tradition and innovation. Addressing this commitment to craft-based practices, at PAFA, The Graphic Unconscious presents the work of seven international artists who take conventionally recognized mediums and treat them in new and imaginative ways. Working with woodcuts, Christiane Baumgartner and Orit Hofshi realize the woodcut’s potential on an immense scale, while the Indonesian artist group Tromarama turns each cut of the wooden panel into the frame of a stop-motion animation. Mark Bradford collages together found posters and then sands this surface to excavate other forms of information hidden underneath, while Pepón Osorio prints on confetti in a work that turns two-dimensional print into three-dimensional sculpture. Kiki Smith collages lithographs on handmade paper into large-scale poetic works, while Qiu Zhijie carves traditional Chinese calligraphy from concrete blocks that, after being printed, stand as sculptures in their own right alongside the wall-hung images.
Several public programs featuring the artists and curators who collaborated on this project will take place in March. Reservations are required for these events.

Julien Robson, Curator of Contemporary Art
Guest Curator: Jose Roca

Leading support for PAFA’s participation in Philagrafika 2010: The Graphic Unconscious is provided by RBC Wealth Management, and by the William Penn Foundation.


The presentation of work by Orit Hofshi at PAFA is co-sponsored by Israel Foreign Ministry, Consulate General of Israel, Philadelphia.

Additional support for presentation of work by Christiane Baumgartner at PAFA is provided by the IFA Institut fur Auslandsbeziehungen e. V.

Program support for The Graphic Unconscious is provided by The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage through the Philadelphia Exhibitions Initiative, The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, and the National Endowment for the Arts.

Click here for a review by Peter Crimmins on WHYY.

Click here for an article by Ken Johnson and here for a slideshow in the New York Times.

Click here to listen to a radio interview on Philagrafika, which aired on NPR's All Things Considered. Julien Robson, PAFA's Curator of Contemporary Art was interviewed.