Laguna Art Museum’s ‘California Printmakers’ showcases inventive process

"51% Angel/49% Devil" by Edward Ruscha is part of the "California Printmakers" exhibition at the Laguna Art Museum.
(Laguna Art Museum)

One image feels like confrontation: In Dirk Hagner’s woodcut on washi paper, the Austrian painter Egon Schiele appears in stark form — the point of the eyes, the fault lines in the face, the hands entrenched in pockets and a deep shadow running toward you, the viewer.

In another image, the prevailing feeling is one of escape: Raymond Pettibon’s subject is running out of frame, the caption above reading: “I thought California would be different.”

Contrasting emotions are linked by artistic process in the Laguna Art Museum exhibition “California Printmakers, 1950-2000" running through May 31. Curated by museum executive director Malcolm Warner, the show not only explains the techniques behind the etchings, lithography and other forms of printmaking but also showcases a range of works by Lari Pittman, Chris Burden and Beth Van Hoesen, among others.