Recent Additions to the AP/RC: Randy Bolton

Randy Bolton has been making prints for some four decades. Somewhere in the early stages of that trajectory he absorbed and refined a sensibility toward historical precedent. Evoking the European origins of printmaking, he embraced a keen sense of the relationships between words and images and exploited contradiction, irony, and irrational juxtapositions in his images, often insinuating critical observations about social relationships. His “Daumier-like” wit paralleled his use of popular subject matter in an image environment whose color and serial organization evoked obvious connections to Pop art and comic books. The serial qualities of Bolton’s work not only connected his vision to the origins of printmaking and its later incarnation in Pop Art, but advanced narrative to the point where the relationships of images demanded extended attention and thought. The works are deceptively simple and conceptually complicated.

The other strain I want to mention has a technical dimension. Randy successfully mastered innovative printmaking techniques. Following on the footsteps of the 1960s and 70s, he engaged chromatic structure of commercial printing, tweeked it, and created work that on close inspection fostered an intense curiosity to uncover the details of his craft. Ultimately, Randy migrated into large scale digital printing on canvas combined with pithy and, at times, acerbic fully three-dimensional installations, my favorites of which featured acute environmental statements.


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