popblossom is pleased to present, A PUBLIC ACT, an exhibition of letterpress broadsides, posters and prints by RNR Showprint, showing Oct 18—December 24, 2019. The artists will be present at the Opening Event, Friday, October 18, 6:30-8:30pm.
By the 1990s, letterpress appeared to be at death’s door. A few decades later, a new crop of artists, designers and printers are resurrecting the centuries-old process. Among them are Ivanete Blanco and David Shields, founders of RNR Showprint, a collaborative letterpress and graphic design studio based in Norfolk, VA.
According to the Blanco and Shields, “A PUBLIC ACT presents the letterpress broadsides, posters, and prints of RNR Showprint. For nearly a century, letterpress printing was the embodiment of the loud public voice of American culture and commerce. The imposing typographic impressions made possible with wood type demanded attention as they recorded and legitimized our collective wishes, ambitions and fears. The work of RNR emerges specifically from the traditions and vocabulary of the letterpress show print, advertisements for performances of all varieties, from carnivals to tent revivals, medicine shows to wrestling matches, and particularly, concerts and dances. The exhibition is an exchange of public dispatches, the product of a traditional working print shop giving form to contemporary expressions while bending tradition to examine the old weird America portrayed in the roots music first captured during the reign of letterpress.”