September 6 – October 28, 2022
Enigma: The Prints of David Lynch
1743 Commercial Avenue, Madison, WI 53704
Reception: Friday, September 23, 5-8:30pm
Tandem Press is excited to host an outdoor screening of the documentary David Lynch: The Art Life in conjunction with a reception for the exhibition Enigma: The Prints of David Lynch. The reception and screening event will be held on Friday, September 23, 2022, from 5:00 to 8:30 pm. The reception will take place in the Tandem Press Apex Gallery. The documentary will be shown on the lawn in front of the Apex building where Tandem is located, beginning at 7:00 pm. Guests are encouraged to bring blankets or lawn chairs to watch the movie.
Much like his filmography, David Lynch’s artwork is often dark and surreal, carrying a non-linear or non-sensical narrative. This exhibition presents a selection of prints that David Lynch created at Tandem Press between 1998 and 2021 and centers around his newest series titled Distorted Nude Photogravures.
Although Lynch has used photographic images in his artwork many times before, this series represents his first use of image manipulation software to alter source images, borrowed with permission from 1000 Nudes: A History of Erotic Photography from 1839-1939, Uwe Scheid Collection. In these twelve prints, deformed nude figures contort, bend, reach, and pose within strange environments that, while mostly unclearly defined, appear to be domestic spaces. The images sink into deep velvety black squares. This format, slightly reminiscent of film but exaggerated as if to suggest a peep show, aligns the prints with Lynch’s cinematic work and lends a voyeuristic edge to how the images are viewed.
Not all the artworks included in this exhibition include nudity, however. An untitled series from 1999 depicts burnt desert shrubs. A piece from 1998, Ant Bee Tarantula, displays a primitive lumpy head with a gaping mouth surrounded by the title text, the function of which remains unclear. David Lynch was once asked in an interview about his use of text in his artwork, to which he responded, “the image comes first and it tells me what the word should be, then the letters ignite the image.” Given the overall mood of Lynch’s work, it may not be surprising that black is a favorite color of his, and it dominates this exhibition. In an interview with fellow filmmaker Chris Rodley, Lynch said, “Black has depth. It’s like a little egress; you can go into it, and because it keeps on continuing to be dark, the mind kicks in, and a lot of things that are going on in there become manifest. And you start seeing what you’re afraid of. You start seeing what you love, and it becomes like a dream.”