Austin artist, Gabel Karsten created films from her monotype prints for her exhibition, Color Movement. Ms. Karsten has made thousands of prints based on abstract or semi-abstract forms and then animated them, creating short, evanescent films that flow and metamorphose effortlessly in space.
Karsten stated, “Recently, my work has taken a new direction. By combining my knowledge of printmaking with my experiments in film, I have created an animated short film that brings movement to the usually still images of monotype prints. The aim of this project, Color Movement, is to create a piece that reflects intuition and memory while at the same time creating a mood of playful spontaneity; the non-narrative format becomes a rhythmic dance that is whimsical, engaging, and open to multiple interpretations.”
In combining animation with the printmaking technique of monotype, Karsten had chosen two media that would allow her to create images fluidly and spontaneously. Through animation, she incorporated the rhythms and structures of music into her films; through the process of printmaking, she approached her imagery intuitively and in a spirit of discovery.
In the exhibition of Color Movement, Karsten chose to display hundreds of prints massed alongside the single film that contained them. The physical juxtaposition of the prints and films reminded us that each is necessary for the fullest experience of the other and that neither would be entirely meaningful without its counterpart. Many of the prints were complete visual entities in themselves, while others functioned merely as bridges linking together longer sequences of images; only by viewing the film, however, did the entire array of prints make visual sense. Likewise, the film gained richness from our ability to follow closely Karsten’s choice of imagery frame by frame in the prints upon the wall.