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The creative work at Tandem Press embodies the analytical processes of research. Although artists, master printers, and students start with age-old techniques, they consistently build upon them to push the boundaries of printmaking.
The visiting artists are at the center of Tandem’s research. For example, Nicola López uses printed elements in her larger installations – taking printmaking into another artistic medium entirely. She also employs unexpected materials, printing on industrial products like Mylar and Tyvek. Tandem Press has used unconventional methods with other artists, for example, printing on 3M reflective fabrics with José Lerma and stitched-together antique sugar sacks with Alison Saar.
At times, an artist’s experimentation and innovation has resulted in utilizing unusual items to create the image itself. David Lynch best exemplifies this approach in a series he created by running household items and chicken heads through the press.
Some artists have inspired Tandem Press to experiment with new technologies. Judy Pfaff encouraged the studio to acquire a digital cutter to use for the collage elements in her artwork. Since purchasing this instrument, Tandem Press’s master printers have found new ways to use the tool, collaborating with artists including Robert Cottingham to use the cutter to create stencils for his etchings.
Student assistants learn and benefit from the investigative environment at Tandem Press. They have the opportunity to work closely with different modes of artistic inquiry – problem solving and visualizing alongside the Tandem Press master printers and visiting artists.