Review: Heavy Hitters at Peveto
Peveto may be the new kid on the Colquitt Gallery Row, but there’s no kidding that Heavy Hitters packs a wallop. Featuring more than 60 artists including Bill Fick, Jenny Schmid, Kurt Kemp, and Tugboat Press (Paul Roden and Valerie Lueth), the exhibition is overwhelming in the breadth and quantity of prints represented — from stone lithographs and intaglios to complex screens and relief prints. Hung salon style, the show strikes a rhythm between quiet, highly nuanced works with graphic in-your-face styles, forcing the viewer to stagger and stare.
Guest curator Ryan O’Malley is responsible for bringing together this view into contemporary printmaking. To say O’Malley has his finger on the pulse of American printmaking would be an understatement. He teaches print at Texas A&M Corpus Christi and orchestrated last April’s Oso Bay Print Biennial, achieving national acclaim.
O’Malley’s curatorial approach is decidedly open, electing to include nontraditional or challenging processes alongside works with academic appeal. Major standouts include Jenny Hager-Vickery and Emily Arthur’s imposing installation, which features a chariot with a life-sized horse covered in prints, and Sideshow, a 20-foot-long woodcut banner from the Brooklyn-based Cannonball Press (Mike Houston and Martin Mazzora). The banner covers nearly the entire gallery wall and features a sultry carnival theme with sword swallowers, thrill seekers, and other gritty novelties caricatured on a grand scale.
The sprawling hodgepodge of content, backgrounds, media, and creators opens a robust conversation on the nature of image making through print processes. Heavy Hitters is a promising start to the festival of ephemera we know as PrintHouston.
Geoff Smith is a twenty-something arts enthusiast, printmaker, and occasional curator.
May 17-July 7