Drawing inspiration from an 18th-century set of Casanova’s journals, Mildred Howard’s new body of work appropriates and subverts history, comments on perpetual global movement and universal connections, and serves as a modern critique of masculinity. A suite of 27 prints created at renowned Shark’s Ink in Lyons, Colorado combine collage, found antique engravings, digital images, maps, various papers, lithography, and chine collé. Two cotton Jacquard tapestries (published by Magnolia Editions in Oakland, California) round out the exhibition.
Howard, who grew up in a family of antique dealers, has long been fascinated by the mysteries inherent in rare books and the historical narratives and figures within them. She reworked and transformed the images in Casanova’s journals through the addition of color and subtle alterations to subject matter. Rare antique books from Venice, London, and Paris became further inspiration, bolstering the content of these new narratives with lithographs, maps, and anatomical and botanical drawings.
As the collaged imagery came together, Howard was reminded of the indefinable nature of the Other. As Howard states, “[The Other] can’t be pinned down: it changes like language changes, all the time, almost imperceptibly, whether one moves from block to block or across an ocean.” Further, Howard’s research and process allowed her to realize that the seemingly fictitious, archetypal character of Casanova was, in fact, an historical figure, and, inadvertently, a caricature for the current social climate.
Mildred Howard: Casanova’s Assignations: The Power of the Other
Exhibition Dates: May 31 – June 30, 2018
Opening Reception: Saturday, June 2, 2018 from 4pm – 7pm
Anglim Gilbert Gallery
1275 Minnesota Street
San Francisco, CA 94107