Addison's monoprints involve the use of great depth and complexity masquerading as something simple. Her powerful images, gleaned in years past from 1950's era advertisements aimed at homemakers, sum up the visual details in an emotional package. In 1984, Susan Brownmiller's book Femininity was published, and deemed to be the book on the topic by supporters and critics alike. If Brownmiller wrote the book, Addison has revisited the subject in visual terms, using a palette of intense warm colors and incorporating imprints of everyday objects, ink-rolled textile swatches, and (in one print) birth-control pill containers.
Her recent works are in response to a series of dreams and their corresponding real-life locations. Informed by the relationship between science and artistic vision, her newer imagery invokes the threshold created at their intersection. These liminal environments are, likewise, created in layers – literally and philosophically – burying and revealing imagery with each pass through the printing press. The layers and veils of detail created by such micro-images are not apparent at first sight because the whole compositing appears unified, but a leisurely return to the print is rewarded by the discovery of subtle and sometimes humorous details.
Elizabeth Addison is a Berkeley-based artist, curator, and educator whose works are included in The California Endowment permanent collection and numerous private and public collections. Her primary media include printmaking and installation. She is an Artist-in-Residence at the Kala Art Institute.