Stewart Crone: Pinned to the Wall
Curated by Peter Waite
Stewart Crone has been collecting paper – and experimenting with text and images – inspired by commercial printing, since he began working in the trade in 1971. The effort has been motivated by a desire to escape the daily challenge of catching errors and instead to celebrate the occasions of error, chance, disorder and misbehavior of ink and paper.
Not all error is interesting of course – we still curse the inkjet machine when the cartridges go empty, and the machine makers for how expensive their little plastic containers have become. Larger paper – bigger error – seems to have a nice way of conferring a higher purpose to these mistakes and disorder. Crone’s own experiments have been directly influenced by this celebration of error – arguments shaped by a desire to keep chance, uncertainty and displacement included in the resulting works.
The flat, razor thin film of ink that lies on the surface of a piece of paper contains a mystery of order and structure that holds out promise of perfect organization, or relative chaos. Thus the expression ‘not worth the paper it’s printed on’ encapsulates the challenge for a printed sheet without error, and the contrary decisions offered in this exhibition stand as examples of paper that remain filled with the awareness of imperfection.
About the Artist
Stewart Crone has over 40 years of printing experience: electronic pre-press, commercial lithography, fine arts editions and reproductions, flatbed press operations, map production, flexography, silkscreen. After participating in the Envirovision show for the NY State Fair in 1972, and in The First All Xerox Show and Language and Photography at La Mamelle in San Francisco in 1975 and 1976 respectively, he turned to the more prosaic tasks of simply making a living and pursuing other interests in film and politics. He has continued to work on paper both formally and informally. Pinned to the Wall is the first ever show of his interest in both collecting and making works on paper.
Crone holds an M.A. in Education and an M.A. in Geography, both from the University of Connecticut and a B.A. in Political Economy of Industrial Society from the University of California, Berkeley.