For just over a month, SAU’s Ganton Art Gallery had the privilege of hosting the work of Reynold Weidenaar, Michigan native and nationally recognized artist. The collection, “Darkness and Light,” came to SAU from the Grand Rapids Public Museum and was secured through the efforts of Brian Shaw ‘90, Professor of Art, and Jonathan Rinck, Assistant Professor of Art.
Weidenaar’s significance comes from his preferred medium of mezzotint printing. During a time when abstract expressionism pervaded the U.S. art scene, Weidenaar chose to work through the time-consuming process of printmaking. The mezzotint method dates back to the seventeenth century and requires the artist to pit and etch a metal plate. It’s a notoriously slow process, and that’s what drew Weidenaar to it.
Michigan and the lives of its inhabitants were Weidenaar’s preferred subject matter, and he depicted everything from the construction of the Mackinac Bridge to the industry of Detroit to the approach of an evening storm. “It’s astonishing what Weidenaar was able to accomplish through mezzotint,” says Rinck. “His work is on display in the National Gallery in Washington, D.C., he held multiple shows in New York City and a few of his prints were selected for the Library of Congress. He was a talented individual, and it was a coup getting his work on display here.”
“Darkness and Light: Etchings by Reynold Weidenaar” was on display from Sept. 16 to Oct. 17, 2018, and was one of the most well-attended gallery showings of the last few years.