Beyond the Surface: Contemporary Artists and Printed Textiles

Urban Fabric: Hedgerows in Fairmount Park, by Gerri Spilka

Beyond the Surface: Contemporary Artists and Printed Textiles features more than 75 works by a diverse group of eight American artists who challenge conventional expectations of printed textiles within contemporary art. Using various techniques and materials, these artists transform fabric-based prints into meditations on personal, political, and social conditions. Their work expands notions of what a printed textile is and can be within a fine art context, revealing the possibilities for conceptual expression and meaning that uniquely exist in the overlap between media.

Self-Portrait: Focus (Monoprint #37), by Nancy Crow

In Beyond the Surface, each artist delves into the nuances of their conceptual and material concerns, richly contributing to an exhibition-wide dialogue about printed textiles as an expansive mode of contemporary artistic practice. The exhibition includes:

  • Works by Danielle Andress, who prints imagery from desktop screensavers onto handmade weavings to highlight that the “real” and the “digital” are human inventions that perpetually cross-fertilize each.
  • Nancy Crow’s monoprint series captures the energy and immediacy of traditional mark-making, turning her drawings on fabric into layered, printed quilts that vibrate with visual tension.
  • Emily Dormier’s screen-printing builds layers of images and visual depth through color-separation processes that recall the formation and retention of memory through periods of heightened emotions or trauma.
  • Inspired by floral wallpaper, Sarah Fairchild’s ornamented prints glow with fluorescent colors and shine from bedazzled crystals and metallic foils to blur the boundaries between what is considered “natural” versus “artificial.”
  • Letitia Huckaby’s photographic prints represent the resilience of community and care in African-American life amid the ongoing legacy of oppression in the United States.
  • Krystle Lemonias’ assemblage and wood-block printed textiles explore the integral role that women’s domestic employment contributes towards society, and how these professions are sites of negotiation between class, gender, race, and economic inequity.
  • Stephanie Santana’s work layers hand printed images and patterns as a way of understanding lineage and the spaces between memory, imagination and the material evidence of Black life.
  • Gerri Spilka brings together quilting and modern abstraction to create images that reflect the duality of urban existence through bold colors and dynamic shapes.

Beyond the Surface will open at Schweinfurth Art Center in Auburn, NY, on Aug. 31, 2024, and run through Oct. 20, 2024. Several related lectures and workshops are being planned and will be announced as the exhibition draws nearer. For more information, see the Schweinfurth’s website at

The exhibition is curated by Caroline Kipp and sponsored by the Coby Foundation, Furthermore Foundation – a program of the J.M. Kaplan Fund, Nelson B. Delevan Foundation, and the New York State Council on the Arts.

My man can eat eeh; go put dis in the gahbage, by Krystle Lemonias