Exhibition - Enigma: The Prints of David Lynch

1743 Commercial Ave.
Madison, WI 53704
  • Presented By: Tandem Press
  • Dates: September 6, 2022 - October 28, 2022
  • Recurrence: Recurring weekly on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday
  • Location: Tandem Press
  • Phone: (608) 263-3437
  • Time: 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM
  • Price: Free

Enigma: The Prints of David Lynch presents a selection of fine art prints that David Lynch created at Tandem Press between 1998 and 2021. Much like his filmography, Lynch’s artwork is often dark and surreal, carrying a non-linear or non-sensical narrative.

The exhibition centers around Lynch’s newest series of prints, Distorted Nude Photogravure #1-#12, completed in 2021. Not all the artworks included in this exhibition include nudity, however. A series from 1999 depict burnt desert shrubs. A piece from 1998, Ant Bee Tarantula, displays a primitive lumpy head with a gaping mouth surrounded by the title text, the function of which remains unclear. David Lynch was once asked in an interview about his use of text in his artwork, to which he responded, “the image comes first and it tells me what the word should be, then the letters ignite the image.”

In these twelve prints, deformed nude figures contort, bend, reach, and pose within strange environments that, while mostly unclearly defined, appear to be domestic spaces. The images sink into a deep velvety black square. This format, slightly reminiscent of film but exaggerated as if to suggest a peep show, aligns the prints with Lynch’s cinematic work and lends a voyeuristic edge to the viewer’s relationship to the images.

Given the overall mood of Lynch’s work, it may not be surprising that black is a favorite color of his, and it dominates this exhibition. In an interview with fellow filmmaker Chris Rodley, Lynch said, “Black has depth. It’s like a little egress; you can go into it, and because it keeps on continuing to be dark, the mind kicks in, and a lot of things that are going on in there become manifest. And you start seeing what you’re afraid of. You start seeing what you love, and it becomes like a dream.”

Reception: Friday, September 23, 2022, 5-8:30pm*

*Tandem Press will host an outdoor screening of the documentary David Lynch: The Art Life during the exhibition reception.