The Study of Rules for Governing Exceptions

The Study of Rules for Governing Exceptions takes its title from Pataphysics—a nonsensical pseudo-science invented by Alfred Jarry, the early 20th century, French avant-garde writer. Before he created Pataphysics or wrote his play, Ubu Roi, Jarry dabbled in woodcut printing and edited two magazines: L’Ymagier and Perhinderion. These journals were prescient in their radical combinations of high and low, showcasing everyday printed ephemera alongside reproductions of fine art prints by the likes of Albrecht Dürer. I learned about these publications in 2013 at an exhibition called Ubu's almanac: Alfred Jarry and the graphic arts co-curated by Stephen Goddard at the Spencer Museum of Art at the University of Kansas at Lawrence. Inspired by the spirit of the raw juxtapositions in Jarry’s publications I started this series. (As you will read later, this encounter with Stephen Goddard and Alfred Jarry also influenced the curatorial design of the Printeresting exhibition Ephemeral Sprawl.)

Jarry’s transgressive curation gave me permission to investigate the space between print and drawing. In these works, numbering just over a dozen prints so far, a simple line etching of a rectangle serves as a frame within a frame, in which decontextualized images of street furniture are drawn and painted in gouache. In an effort to further play with the conventions of the edition print, these works have differing rule numbers added with a rubber stamp, an office print tool used only rarely with fine art prints.