Sandra Cinto at Graphicstudio

GS 1663. Untitled 1 from the series Chance and NecessitySandra Cinto
Untitled #1, from the series Chance and Necessity, 2016
two-run, two-color direct gravure with photogravure
49-3/4 x 34 inches
Edition: 10


celloSandra Cinto
Cello 1 (detail), 2013
graphite on wall, permanent pen and acrylic on cello
48-3/8 x 17-3/4 x 7-7/8 inches
image courtesy Tanya Bonakdar Gallery

In November of 2013, while in New York City for the IFPDA Print Fair, Graphicstudio Director Margaret Miller encountered the work of Sandra Cinto at Tanya Bonakdar Gallery. Piece of Silence included cellos and violins painted white and intricately decorated with black ink line drawings, mounted to the gallery walls that had been covered with music staves. Struck with the delicate beauty of the sculptures, drawings and paintings that were included in the exhibition, Margaret enlisted the help of Noel Smith, Curator of Latin American and Caribbean Art, to make contact with Sandra and explore the idea of coming to Graphicstudio to make prints.

Sandra drawing medSandra Cinto at work at Graphicstudio

Sandra Cinto was born in 1968 in Santo Andre, Brazil and lives and works in São Paulo. She is known for her large-scale, dramatic scenarios incorporating water, the night sky and billowing seas. Japanese ukiyo-e prints and Hokusai’s iconic The Great Wave off Kanagawa have long served as an inspiration to her, as has European Romanticism, particularly Géricault’s painting The Raft of the Medusa, which depicts a famous sea disaster. Much of her work features huge blocks of dark and rich blues, covered with her finely detailed line drawings in silver or white.

It took nearly a year, but eventually Sandra’s busy schedule synced up with Graphicstudio and she made the trip to Tampa. Cinto hadn’t made prints since she was in art school, and the possibilities of printmaking led to a flurry of activity between the artist and staff. One medium resonated in particular: cyanotype. The Prussian blue color and fine detail possible lent itself perfectly to Sandra’s practice.

Open SeaSandra Cinto
Open Sea, 2016
cyantoype
22 x 30 inches
Edition: 50

Open Sea is Sandra Cinto’s first completed project with Graphicstudio. The print contrasts her freehand drawing style brilliantly against the deep blue of the cyanotype. The imagery is familiar, turbulent seas with fans of parallel lines and concentric circles, a dreamy scene encapsulated by its simple title.

Once the relationship between Sandra and the Institute for Research in Art had been established, Noel Smith recognized an opportunity to further engage Sandra’s talents and approached her with the idea of creating a solo installation to coincide with her upcoming exhibition Histórias/Histories: Contemporary Art from Brazil. The idea for Chance and Necessity then took shape: Sandra would incorporate a series of Graphicstudio prints with three paintings on watercolor canvas for the exhibition.

Sandra works A

Sandra works BSandra Cinto staining frosted mylar with India ink

Sandra had recently returned from a summer residency at Aomori Contemporary Art Centre in Aomori, Japan and had undertaken a new artistic direction. Rather than depicting water, she has used water itself as an element of the works. She began a series of five prints, each to be printed in an edition of ten. To create her prints, she mixed water with India ink, and let it run freely over frosted mylar to create flowing, random marks. The process was long, with layers of ink built up on the mylar and the darkness of the marks depended on how quickly or slowly the ink mixture passed over the surface.

Sandra works C

Sandra works DOnce the image is complete the ink is dried

Sandra works ESandra Cinto and Tom Pruitt, master printer and studio manager, review a stained mylar

Eventually the ink rivulets took on form and shape, and once Sandra saw an image in them they were allowed to dry. She placed a new sheet of mylar on top of the ink-stained one and traced her intricate linework, giving structure and form to the ink washes on the mylar underneath. Her characteristic shapes reference Japanese landscape art, suggesting rock outcroppings jutting out from waterfalls when viewed from a distance and woodgrain or veins when viewed up close.

Sandra drawing IISandra draws on the mylar which will become the black printing in Untitled #2

The two mylars were etched into copper plates through the gravure process. The mylar was exposed onto a sensitized sheet of carbon tissue, made of a pigmented gelatin layer on paper backing. The exposed surface of the gelatin was adhered to the copper and they were immersed in heated water that dissolved the unexposed gelatin. Then the paper backing was removed and the image was developed as a negative. The plate was then etched in several baths of ferric chloride. Once the plates were etched, the aqua blue water run was printed and the ink allowed to dry completely before printing the black line drawings. Registration is a painstaking process for a print so detailed and precise.

GS 1664. Untitled 2 from the series Chance and NecessitySandra Cinto
Untitled #2, from the series Chance and Necessity, 2016
two-run, two-color direct gravure with photogravure
49-3/4 x 34 inches
Edition: 10

GS 1665. Untitled 3 from the series Chance and NecessitySandra Cinto
Untitled #3, from the series Chance and Necessity, 2016
two-run, two-color direct gravure with photogravure
49-3/4 x 34 inches
Edition: 10

GS 1666. Untitled 4 from the series Chance and NecessitySandra Cinto
Untitled #4, from the series Chance and Necessity, 2016
two-run, two-color direct gravure with photogravure
49-3/4 x 34 inches
Edition: 10

While working at Graphicstudio on the Chance and Necessity prints, Sandra developed an idea for a sculpture that she was interested in pursuing. The arm as a signifier of the artist’s act of creation has been a part of Sandra’s oeuvre since her early photographic works. Mirroring the shift in her two dimensional works from the depiction of water to water as an element in the work itself, Sandra’s idea was to reproduce her own arm as a sculpture.

1998_01_Untitled_19980Sandra Cinto
Untitled, 1998
Photograph
28 3/4 x 51 inches
Edition: 5; 1 AP
image courtesy Tanya Bonakdar Gallery


GS-1668-Cinto-Untitled-sculpture-3-image-by-Sharmila-Seth-3000Sandra Cinto
Untitled, 2016
Sculpture: 13-1/2 x 36 x 12 inches
Base: 30 x 40 x 21 inches
Alabaster, Walnut Hardwood
image courtesy Sharmila Seth

The process began by creating a lifecast of her arm in the position that she wanted for the sculpture. First, her arm was coated in skin grade silicone in order to make a mold. A “mother mold” is made out of plaster and encases the silicone. The mother mold is made in two exact halves to allow the arm to be lifted out once the plaster is dry. Once each half is complete they are put together and the blue silicone mold is filled with gypsum cement, making a positive cast of Sandra’s arm.

arm casting 01Sandra’s arm is coated in silicone

arm casting 02The mother mold has set and is gently pried open

arm casting 03The finished silicone mold with the top half of the mother mold released

Alabaster was chosen as the material for its translucent properties. The block required for the sculpture was sourced from an Italian quarry and weighed nearly 900 pounds. The first step was to sculpt a clay mock up in order to become familiar with the form, muscles and anatomy of the arm before working on the alabaster.

01A clay mock up of Sandra’s arm

02The alabaster block can be seen behind the clay mock up

05Some of the tools used to cut alabaster

06The alabster block begins to take shape

10.5 

12 

The final step is construction of the handmade walnut table on which to display the alabaster sculpture. The finished piece is stunning beneath a skylight, as displayed in Two Forces, Sandra’s most recent solo exhibition at Tanya Bonakdar Gallery.

GS-1668-Cinto-Untitled-sculpture-2-3000image courtesy Tanya Bonakdar Gallery

For more information on any of Sandra Cinto’s Graphicstudio collaborations, please contact Kristin Soderqvist, Director of Sales and Marketing, at 813-974-3503 or gsoffice@arts.usf.edu.

GS 1667. Untitled 5 from the series Chance and NecessitySandra Cinto
Untitled #5, from the series Chance and Necessity, 2016
two-run, two-color direct gravure with photogravure
49-3/4 x 34 inches
Edition: 10

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