'Scoundrels' Exhibit By Christopher Register To Open

Published 4:30 pm Thursday, September 16, 2010

The j fergeson gallery is proud to present “Scoundrels,” a solo exhibition of wood-engraving prints by Virginia artist Christopher Register from October 2 through October 30 in its downtown Farmville gallery. An Opening Reception, open to the public, will be held on Saturday, October 2, 5 to 8 p.m. Register's new prints are powerful portraits of people who were both accomplished and did or believed in bad things. These prints are a glimpse at the human contradiction.

General George Armstrong Custer, Rush Limbaugh, Bernie Maddoff and Frank Hamer, the Texas Ranger who brought down Clyde and Bonnie are all portrayed in this powerful exhibit of 25 people whose actions were a mix of positive and negative – people of great accomplishments as well as great mistakes or dishonesty. Register strove to capture each of his subjects' essence as he drew, then engraved and printed, each image. The ex-governor of Mississippi, Ross Barnett, who blocked James Meredith from enrolling at Ole Miss, shares this stage with Anita Bryant and J. Edgar Hoover.

Three prints in the show were engraved while Register was in Venice, Italy at the Scuola Internazionale di Graphica, during the summer of 2009. He finished printing the 25 Scoundrels in his studio in Rice, Virginia. Each Scoundrel is accompanied by a letter- pressed salient quote.

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The artist's work continues to evolve as he draws inspiration from past and current masters of wood engraving including Leonard Baskin and Barry Moser. Even the sculptures of Louise Bourgeois have influenced portions of Register's work. In creating this portfolio of prints, Register experimented with textures, inks, and blocks. The prints of this series were carved using a polymer resin, since the engravers' favorite woods – box wood and holly – are rarely available.

Born in Philadelphia, Register studied at the George Washington University. He is a professor of art in the Longwood University art department. His paintings, drawings and prints are included in private and public collections internationally.

“This work is a statement about how our culture builds up people unreasonably, and then delights in tearing them back down,” Register said. “I want people to think and realize there is no easy simple answer, because we aren't easy, simple beings.”