Alumna pushes printmaking boundaries
Most people think of printmaking as a means to multiples, but Nicole Pietrantoni, BS’03, uses the techniques of printmaking—specifically screen printing—as a means to an end.
Pietrantoni, who won Vanderbilt’s prestigious Margaret Stonewall Wooldridge Hamblet Award in 2003, screen-prints on acrylic plates, stacks the plates in various configurations and, by using focused light, creates installations that project images through the screened prints onto the wall. She uses screen prints to create shadow images of the landscape.
“When I started the shadow pieces, I was most agile with screen printing, and that’s what I’ve continued to work with,” Pietrantoni says. “Printmaking is a tool for me, the area where I’m most technically skilled, but I do break away from a lot of what we consider to be traditional printmaking.”
“This Waterfall Is Falling for You”
by Nicole Pietrantoni
Pietrantoni has exhibited the installation piece “This Waterfall Is Falling for You” in different configurations, “but conceptually, it’s the same piece to me,” she says. Landscape is her muse, and scale—whether she’s creating 4-by-28-foot installations on acrylic panels or 4-by-5-inch prints on handmade paper—reflects the human reaction to landscape.
“What I’m doing is miniaturizing landscape—taking something grand and overwhelming and making it small,” she says. “I’m also taking pieces about the landscape, like postcards, and thinking about how we commercialize landscape and make it a product.”
Pietrantoni is an assistant professor of art at Whitman College in Walla Walla, Wash.