"Annual International Print Show 2009: Views of Women and Nature," through May 25 at the Art & Frame Shop and the Williams Gallery, 6983 Stirling Rd., Davie. Call 954-533-3974, or visit wmgallery.com.
There are ordinary framers, and then there is the Art & Frame Shop and the Williams Gallery in Davie, where owner William Bock is an artist himself and brings his well-trained eye to bear on what he frames. He does exceptional work. He also shines the occasional spotlight on the artistic output of himself and others, as in the current "Annual International Print Show 2009: Views of Women and Nature." It's really not so much a show as an excuse for Bock to showcase his own latest work and that of other artists he carries. the latter are three Japanese artists Bock has long championed: Susumu Endo, Katsunori Hamanishi, and Yoshikatsu Tamekane. Their
austere, serene work, in media ranging from woodblock and mezzotint prints to manipulated photography, might be thought of as the visual equivalent of ambient music at its most evocative. Bock's current crop of artists also includes Australian Joerg Schmeisser and Rolf Weijburg of the Netherlands, both of whom do etchings of exotic locales; Barbara
Nessim, whose computer-based imagery explores themes related to women; and Bock's brothers, Jonathan and Douglas, who manipulate digital imagery. Bock himself is into digital manipulation these days, with his most recent prints serving as strong evidence that this is a fruitful
direction for him. Ask to see what he's up to lately and he'll haul out some stunning examples. His efforts to explain the process fell upon my mostly clueless ears — it involves separating digital photographic images into layers via Photoshop, then printing the layers separately atop one another and enhancing them with acrylic highlights — but the results speak for themselves. Of course, you have to
start out with a good photograph, something Bock does with seeming effortlessness.