Salvaging discarded and defective proofs from Crown Point Press, Fisher repulped them at a local mill to make the paper for First Etching. By chance, he foraged LeWitt’s Color Grids and Kushner’s Paulette and Karla (see slideshow, above, for published impressions of both). Tiny flecks of these recycled proofs can be seen embedded in First Etching’s paper (see banner, above). The faint square at the work’s center is the imprint of an imageless, but lightly inked, printing plate. Fisher referred to First Etching as an invocation, suggesting an appeal for guidance. He found it in LeWitt’s and Kushner’s leftovers and waste.
Joel Fisher making paper for First Etching, 1980, photograph by Kathan Brown, Courtesy Crown Point Press
"Yes, No, Maybe: The Art of Making
Decisions," lecture by exhibition curators Judith Brodie and Adam Greenhalgh (audio)
Julie Mehretu, artist, in conversation with curator Judith Brodie, Diamonstein-Spielvogel lecture (audio)
"An Insider's Perspective," lecture by Kathan Brown, founder of Crown Point Press (audio)