Judy Pfaff & Gregory Conniff: Camera and Ink

May 21–August 29, 2004
Prints, Drawings and Photography Gallery

A selection of recent prints by Judy Pfaff, a multi-media artist based in New York, and Gregory Conniff, a photographer based in Madison, are on view in this exhibition. Both artists explore the beauty and mystery of nature with the camera and make prints using ink-based methods, yet Pfaff’s work is categorized as printmaking and Conniff’s as photography. Judy Pfaff & Gregory Conniff: Camera and Ink will allow visitors to immerse themselves in lush, rich imagery while provoking thought on the sometimes arbitrary distinctions that are drawn between the two media.

The artists share an interest in both the meditative and ominous aspects of the natural world—and explore the inherent beauty of its chaos in their work. Conniff, a photographer, has used the gelatin silver process for nearly three decades but has recently begun to print his images in a proprietary four-black inkjet process that evokes the rich texture of a photogravure. Pfaff has worked in several media over her 30-year career, among them printmaking. Her recent work, printed at Tandem Press, draws heavily on photogravure in combination with other printing methods. Judy Pfaff–Gregory Conniff: Camera and Ink demonstrates how these two artists have appropriated the aesthetic of the lush 19th-century gravure for use in contemporary work. Through this gesture to history the artists call into question the nature of the print itself in the present digital age.

The exhibition is organized by the Herbert F. Johnson Museum at Cornell University and is supported by the New York State Council on the Arts, the Luce Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the National Endowment for the Arts and a program of the J.M. Kaplan Fund. The exhibition is coordinated by Glenn Adamson, MAM adjunct curator and curator of the Chipstone Foundation.
  • Gregory Conniff, Dane County, Wisconsin, 1997. Four-toned black inkjet digital print. Courtesy of the artist.
  • Judy Pfaff, When the Moon is Full, 2002. Photogravure and collagraph in artist’s frame. Courtesy of the artist and Tandem Press. © Judy Pfaff/Licensed by VAGA, New York, NY