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VCU's Anderson Gallery announces 'David Freed, Printmaker'

Retrospective exhibition of VCU faculty-artist works

RICHMOND, Va. – Virginia Commonwealth University’s Anderson Gallery presents "David Freed, Printmaker," the first comprehensive museum exhibition of works by this School of the Arts faculty member. The exhibition, curated by gallery director Ted Potter, runs August 31-October 28. The gallery is located at 907 1/2 W. Franklin St.

"David Freed, Printmaker," will include more than 100 framed prints that track seven major themes over four decades. The prints range from those done in the early 1960s to more political work from later that decade, to portraits that the artist has made of friends, family and colleagues. His more abstract work focuses on weather and landscape prints that date from the early 1970s to the present. Freed’s Genesis series, featuring 14 etchings and mixed media prints that visually paraphrase the stories from the Old Testament, will also be on display. Additionally, the exhibition will include Freed’s monotypes, mixed media and photographs.

"David Freed epitomizes the artist/teacher, whose commitment to teaching excellence enhances rather than limits his ability to make significant art," said Potter. "This retrospective exhibition is a fitting tribute to this master printmaker and dedicated teacher."

Freed has produced countless images, primarily in his favorite technique of etching, which is a form of intaglio printing. An etching is produced on a metal plate that is put through a process of three basic steps. First, the artist draws with a point on a previously grounded plate, or draws directly onto the plate with the ground or varnish. In the second step the plate is "bitten" by a solution of acid which attacks the areas that are not protected by the ground. In the final step, ink is smeared into the hollows left behind by the "biting" process, and under the intense pressure of printing, the paper is forced into these "intaglio" parts of the plate and the image is picked up. Freed often uses many plates to achieve the desired effect.

Since 1966, Freed has been a full-time VCU printmaking professor. Not only has he taught and mentored hundreds of printmaking students, he has also continued to produce an extraordinary body of work. His prints can be found in many individual collections, as well as those of numerous museums and major corporations.

Born in Ohio, Freed received his B.F.A. from Miami University and his M.F.A. from the University of Iowa, where he studied under legendary printmaker Mauricio Lasansky. Freed has received numerous awards including a Fulbright Grant for study in London. He has participated in group and solo exhibitions in Yugoslavia, West Germany, Hong Kong, Italy and England, as well as numerous U.S. exhibitions. His prints are also housed in 15 American embassies throughout the world.

The Anderson Gallery will offer a fully illustrated exhibition catalogue, which will be distributed nationally and internationally by the University of Washington Press. The publication will feature a statement by Pulitzer Prize winning poet Charles Wright and an in-depth conversation with Freed. VCU Libraries’ James Branch Cabell Library, 901 Park Ave., will simultaneously display limited edition prints and artist’s books produced between 1964-1998, including "What Light Guides This Hand," which was selected as the library’s millionth volume.

"David Freed, Printmaker" will open at 7 p.m. on Aug. 31. Admission is free and open to the public. For more information, call (804) 828-1522 or visit the Anderson Gallery Web site at www.vcu.edu/artweb/gallery.

About VCU and VCU Medical Center

Virginia Commonwealth University is a major, urban public research university with national and international rankings in sponsored research. Located in downtown Richmond, VCU enrolls more than 31,000 students in 226 degree and certificate programs in the arts, sciences and humanities. Sixty-seven of the programs are unique in Virginia, many of them crossing the disciplines of VCU’s 13 schools and one college. MCV Hospitals and the health sciences schools of Virginia Commonwealth University comprise VCU Medical Center, one of the nation’s leading academic medical centers. For more, see www.vcu.edu.