The line as an element in art is often taken for granted. The common layperson’s observation that “I can’t even draw a straight line,” betrays a common misunderstanding about how an artist approaches line. When an artist wants to draw a straight line, they pick up a ruler, but a line has so much more potential. Printmaker Rachel Singel thoughtfully explores the linear in her work: “Lines are the building block of my world. The printmaking process allows for a technical consideration of how these lines are distributed throughout the work, with the weight of each line relating directly to how much time it etches. Their physical qualities carry weight; they do not descend into the paper but protrude from the surface.”
If that explanation sounds academic, it fairly reflects the intellectual aspect of the printmaking process as well as Singel’s position as Assistant Professor at University of Louisville’s Hite Art Institute, but her lines also describe recognizable forms in nature, and in Venetian Vortex, there is a discovery of the hallucinatory character that can be found in the natural world, and line works in concert with scant patches of color to move into the realm of the abstract.
“Lines develop into curves, from curves to semi-circles, and from semi-circles to the full circle. This stylistic tendency comes from my interest in openings in nature—those places around which nature’s complex forms develop. Close studies of natural objects reveal holes in their surfaces. The space is a source of weight—a fulcrum point that seizes my attention by giving the illusion of an even deeper space, seeming to recede to infinity. The lines radiate out from these seeming voids—the starting points for infinite variation within the work.”
Singel was one of the organizers of the October 2016 Mid America Print Conference hosted by Indiana University Southeast and The University of Louisville. Her work was featured in an exhibit with Susan Moffett, Marilyn Whitesell, Mary Lou Hess, Susanna Crum, and Susan Harrison.
Singel was also selected to participate in the Mid-America Print Council Members Juried Exhibition at the Carnegie Center for Art and History, October 2016.
Singel currently is co-curating a group exhibition at Asheville Bookworks. She has exhibited internationally in Venice, China, Korea, Chile, Japan, Slovenia, Bulgaria, and the United Arab Emirates, and her work is included in 2016 Literary Innovation: A Juried National Exhibition Inspired by William Faulkner and Ernest Hemingway at the Catapult Gallery in Cape Girardeau, MO, through November 27, 2016, and in Points of Departure: An Exhibition without Borders, at the John Michael Kohler Arts Center on Sheboygan, WI through January 15, 2017.
In Louisville, you can next view Singel’s work in The Art and Architecture of the Jewish Ghetto in Venice, Italy, The Jewish Community Center, Louisville KY, January 15-February 21, 2017.
Permanent Collections (selected)
Tipoteca Italiana Archives, Cornuda, IT
Jewish Museum of Venice, Venice, IT
Baylor University Libraries, Waco, TX
Avery Architecture and Fine Arts Library, Columbia University, New York, NY
University of Denver Special Collections & Archives, Denver, CO
DePaul University Special Collections & Archives, Chicago, IL
Stanford University Special Collections & University Archives, Stanford, CA
Artist Books Collection, University of Louisville, Louisville, KY
SGCI Archives, Pacific NW College of Art and Portland State University, OR
John C. Hodges Library Special Collections. University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN
Guanlan International Print Biennial, Shenzhen, China
Permanent Collection Christchurch Polytechnic Institute of Technology, Christchurch, New Zealand
Proyecto´ace Print Collection, Buenos Aires, Argentina
Venice Printmaking Studio Print Collection, Venice, IT
Indiana University Print Collection, Bloomington, IN
University of New Mexico Print Collection, Albuquerque, NM
Pyramid Atlantic Art Center Print Collection, Silver Springs, MD
Hometown: Louisville, Kentucky
Education: MFA, University of Iowa, 2013 BA, University of Virginia, 2009
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Written by Keith Waits. Entire contents copyright © 2016 Louisville Visual Art. All rights reserved.