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Dancing with the Equinox

James Drake

American, Born 1946

Dancing with the Equinox 1989
Master printer - Kevin Garber
Lithograph from two plates, silkscreen from one screen, monoprint
Rives BFK
Diptych 44"h x 30"w
Ed. 16
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James Drake, an artist from Texas, had exhibited nationwide by the time he was invited to St. Louis in 1989 to work at the Washington University Collaborative Printmaking Workshop.(1) Drake made two prints with master printer Kevin Garber: Two to Tango and Dancing with the Equinox. The latter, a lithograph, screenprint, and monoprint, is particularly intriguing. While Dancing with the Equinox was not highly experimental in comparison with the work being done in other shops, it did signal a move away from very traditional printmaking towards work that was becoming more complex.(2) Drake’s split image in Dancing with the Equinox was composed of a solid area of black filling the bottom half of the composition, and the image of a man and woman occupying the top half of the composition. This divided style is typical of his work during this period. As in other works that Drake was creating at the time, Dancing with the Equinox is about opposites—light and dark, man and woman.(3)

Marilyn Kushner
Curator and Chair of the Department of Prints, Drawings, and Photographs
Brooklyn Museum of Art
1 Island Press was originally known as the Washington University Collaborative Printmaking Workshop until the name was changed in 1996.
2 This movement away from conventional work would accelerate dramatically within the next few years.
3 Drake was at the Tamarind Institute in Albuquerque during the same period when he made Let’s Kiss Like We Were Really Lovers. This similar split image is also about opposites; in this instance "darkness and light, sex and money, presence and absence." See Susan Tallman, "Socks, Politics, and Prints," in Tamarind 40 Years, editor, Marjorie Devon (Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 2000), p. 112.