Cosette Dudley is a printmaker and lithographer. Her work in this exhibition was inspired by her childhood friend Betty, a young girl of Japanese descent who was forced into an internment camp during WW2. That brutal action shattered Betty and Cosette’s suburban neighborhood, delivering the cruelty of war right to their doors. Betty was seemingly erased from the community, her innocence and childhood cut short. With this exhibit, Dudley creates a link between the historical and the personal, furthering the conversation of erasure by burnishing portions of the images directly off the copper plate.
Cosette Dudley began her printmaking career during the turbulent 1960s. Her work was highly influenced by her own experiences as a child during WW2,as well as the impact of the Vietnam war on her later life. Throughout her career she has continued to explore themes of social justice, civil liberties, war and peace, and the environment.
The works exhibited here are lithographs and itaglio prints:
Lithography, a planographic printing process that makes use of the immiscibility of grease and water.
In the lithographic process, ink is applied to a grease-treated image on the flat printing surface; non-image (blank) areas, which hold moisture, repel the lithographic ink. This inked surface is then printed. The process was discovered in 1798 by Alois Senefelder of Munich, who used a porous Bavarian limestone for his plate (hence lithography, from Greek lithos, “stone”).
The traditional method of creating lithographs involved the use of a block of porous limestone. The method of preparing such stones for hand printing has remained substantially unchanged since Senefelder’s time. The materials and procedures of the 19th-century lithographer are duplicated in almost every respect by the contemporary hand printer. An image is drawn with tusche (a carbon pigment in liquid form) and litho crayon before the printing surface is fixed, moistened, and inked in preparation for printing. The printing itself is done on a press that exerts a sliding or scraping pressure. Because it undergoes virtually no wear in printing, a single stone can yield an almost unlimited number of copies, although in art printmaking only a specific number of prints are pulled, signed, and numbered before the stone is “canceled” (defaced).
Intaglio is the family of printing and printmaking techniques in which the image is incised into a surface, and the incised line or sunken area holds the ink. Normally, copper or zinc plates are used as a surface or matrix, and the incisions are created by etching, engraving, drypoint, aquatint or mezzotint. Collographs may also be printed as intaglio plates.
Photogravure is an intaglio printmaking or photo-mechanical process whereby a copper plate is coated with a light-sensitive gelatin tissue which had been exposed to a film positive, and then etched, resulting in a high quality intaglio print that can reproduce the detail and continuous tones of a photograph.
Cosette uses her medium to further the conversation of removal by directly burnishing portions of the image off the copper plate. She also employs deep bite color separation (an intaglio method in which the metal plate or matrix is left in the acid for a very long period of time. The acid bites through the plate, debilitates it, and compromises its integrity) both formally and conceptually to direct our attention to the many levels of devastation of war.
She attended Stanford University, UC Davis, and Sacramento City College, studying under Wayne Thiebaud and Barbara Foster, and continued her studies at Crown Point Press, San Francisco State University, and College of San Mateo .
Website by Werner Glinka