Most known for her film, video, and performance work, award-winning artist and Art Center student Cauleen Smith introduces printmaking into her repertoire with the site-specific installation at Hyde Park Art Center. The show, titled 17, will feature approximately 260 feet of hand screen-printed wallpaper. The exhibition title references many facets of arts and culture traditions from ancient history to the modern day, arising out of Smith’s meditations on the number’s spiritual significance as a marker of immortality, as well a number of noteworthy cultural and historical facts and figures featuring the number itself.
The work debuting in 17 is especially engaged with Smith’s printmaking process, with the exhibition’s title riffing on the number of patterns that intersect to make wallpaper print a consistent image. The work also arises out of Smith’s research into the legacy of Sun Ra, who was himself a student of numerology and achieved a kind of cultural immortality the number 17 might be said to refer to. Smith produced this new series of screen prints with techniques she acquired from participating in a printmaking class at the Hyde Park Art Center under the instruction of printmaker, Elke Claus.