Jo Ganter is an artist whose work explores graphic media for the unique qualities of mark and material surface achievable through etching, aquatint and digital print, to produce images that move between abstraction and representation, images that are ambiguous and suggestive, universal and timeless.
She has led exploration in the combination of traditional and digital print, and through a range of large-scale photo-etching techniques for which she is known internationally, a prize-winner at the Cracow Print Triennial in 2012 and, in 2011, being invited to produce work at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, USA, and to exhibit at the Art Academy Gallery in Vilnius Lithuania.
Ganter was the artist representing the United Kingdom at the Tripitaka Koreana in 2011, a festival and exhibition celebrating the millenial anniversary of the wooden printing blocks that are carved with the history of Korea. These blocks are kept at the Haein-sa Temple, UNESCO World Heritage Site, and cared for by Buddhist monks. Artists from 42 different countries were invited to create work on the theme of The Mind, to celebrate the Buddhist philosophy and the continuing use of old, and the progress of new, technologies in print.
Through a number of series of works, Ganter's artwork has investigated visual metaphors for the human condition. Her images refer obliquely to the human form and the space around it, but, are more concerned with spiritual, rather than material presence. Richard Noyce, in his essay, Beyond the Surface, writes: “Her approach to the making of art is predicated on her experience of living and working in urban environments, subject to the welter of impressions and emotions that this artificial world imposes on the flesh and blood of a sentient being. She does not choose to express this experience with specific or clearly defined figurative means and there is no sense of her work being illustrative. It is however interpretive, working toward the expression of the universal within her subjective responses…” (Forms of Being, Glasgow Print Studio, 2010).
In 2013, Bildungswerk des BBK Berlin, the superb print workshop in Berlin, sent Gloria Alonso, their specialist etching technician, to shadow Ganter as she produced a large steel etching in Glasgow Print Studio. Ganter is invited to continue this exchange of knowledge and run a master-class in BBK in July 2014.
Starting in 2014, Ganter has created a number of graphic scores, (images that replace the conventional music score to direct improvised music), in collaboration with Scottish saxophonist, Raymond MacDonald, and the American jazz pianist and composer, Marilyn Crispell. These have been exhibited in Edinburgh at The Talbot Rice Gallery, The Briggait, Glasgow and in Woodstock NY at The Kleinert James Center for the Arts.
Pictured: Graphic Score - 'Longing from music' by Raymond MacDonald and Marilyn Crispell