We are pleased to share the print series Identical/Variation (green, red, blue, black), Amy Ellingson’s first publication with Magnolia Editions of Oakland, CA. Ellingson’s unique practice combines digitally manipulated, geometric imagery with traditional oil and encaustic painting media; (Untitled) Large Variation, Ellingson’s 109-foot-long ceramic mosaic mural at San Francisco International Airport’s Terminal 3, explores the dichotomy between digital and hand-made. Given this signature mix, it was only natural that Ellingson chose to work with Magnolia Editions for her first major foray into printmaking.
Ellingson says that she sought to use the layering potential of printmaking to “achieve something that can’t be done in painting.” Ultimately, the artist developed a matrix for a series of related “identical variations,” shifting the orientation and color of subsequent layers to express “originality within repetition.” The Identical/Variation series comprises an etching in black ink, printed at Magnolia from a plate created on Magnolia’s flatbed printer; the etching is then embellished with vibrant acrylic color and finished with a layer of laser-etched relief woodcut, printed in a series of four different colors in variable orientation. While the lively play of color in Ellingson’s abstract universe recalls Kandinsky and her vocabulary of biomorphic shapes is reminiscent of Miró, her decidedly postmodern visual strategies and embrace of digital methods distinguish the artist as a vanguard, thoughtfully ushering abstraction into the 21st century.