As her son concludes a successful first year at Hobart and William Smith, artist Phyllis Trout P’17 is donating a monotype print from her latest series to the Collections of Hobart and William Smith Colleges. She currently teaches at Parsons, the New School for Design in New York City, and works with elementary students at Friends Seminary, also in New York City.
“I am a grateful parent who continues to be delighted and impressed with how the Hobart College community actualizes its mission,” says Trout, whose son is Liam Brooks ’17, plans to pursue a double major of economics and environmental studies.
In an article featuring her work, “Spaces: That Hang in the Balance,” that appeared in Drawing (Fall 2012) the bardo is described as “a concept taken from Tibetan Buddhism and ‘The Book of the Dead.'”
“The bardo names luminal space, or the space in between thresholds,” Trout says. “It’s a space in between living and dying, light and dark, dream and waking. Seeing those transformational spaces allows us to discover and grow.” The concept has inspired Trout’s work for a number of years. She is donating the print, “Bardo #358” (pictured above) to the Colleges.
Trout’s artistic inspirations include Fra Angelico, Piranesi, Kollwitz, and Bearden. She was taught by Martin Puryear, Stanley Lewis, Vijay Kumar and William McKim. Architecture also serves as inspiration and she loves train stations and churches, especially Hagia Sophia in Istanbul, San Marco in Venice and the Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem, as well as prison spaces, such as the Eastern State Penitentiary in Pennsylvania.
Monotype is the most painterly of printmaking methods, closely tied to drawing; each monotype is unique. Trout works by a process of gradual subtraction, addition and refinement. She covers an aluminum lithography plate with black etching ink and then wipes, scrapes and dilutes the ink, working primarily with her fingers and rollers. Transfer and reversal takes place during the printing process.
Trout earned her B.F.A. from Kansas City Art Institute in Missouri. She was a 2001 MacDowell fellow resident artist at Millay Colony for the Arts, Austerlitz, N.Y. Her recent solo exhibitions include at Messineo Art Projects and Wyman Contemporary in New York City, and Art Under the Spire in Baltimore, Md. More on her work can be found online.