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Phillip Chen, Flower Water, Relief etching, 23" x 31", 2001
About the exhibition
At Kentler International Drawing Space, Phillip Chen's ongoing series of relief etchings, "What We Are Named for", critique and revision events from both American history and the artist's personal past. Each work presents a specific relationship between documentary photography and schematic drawing. These elements are overlaid and interlinked, resulting in ghostly and hovering emanations that constantly explicate their photographic "original".
The etchings employ two separate modes of representation, necessitating the use of different print processes. Photographic negatives are exposed to sensitized zinc plates, developed and acid etched. The hand-drawn diagrammatic component of each work is etched more aggressively and often requires additional reinforcement through traditional engraving techniques.
Phillip Chen received the B.F.A. degree from University of Illinois at Chicago and the M.F.A. degree from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. His prints have been exhibited in over one hundred locations nationally and internationally and are held by museum collections that include The Brooklyn Museum, The Carnegie Institute Museum of Art, The Art Institute of Chicago, The Portland Museum of Art, The San Francisco Museum of Fine Arts, and the Hunterian Museum, Glasgow, Scotland. He has traveled extensively as a visiting artist and has served as an evaluator for the National Endowment for the Arts, College Art Association, and The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. His research has been supported by the N.E.A. and Illinois Arts Council fellowships. Phillip Chen teaches drawing and printmaking at Drake University and is currently exhibiting at Thomas McCormick Gallery, Chicago.