San Francisco

Meckseper and Avati

Eric Locke Gallery

Meckseper is a German engraver whose technique reflects the steel engraving illustrations and diagrams of early books and catalogs, but with a sense of humor: a watch, picayunely rendered, covers half the table, which has been more casually drawn; a wee house beside the Globe Theater makes the latter outrageously huge. Perhaps the most successful print is Rhinoceros in which the beast is clothed in chain mail, shoes, undergarments, and a cutaway reveals the steam engine inside.

Avati works in Paris, and his metier is intense black mezzotint still-life prints. One is a target with a mallard overlaid with circles, and punctured with a nice shot grouping, beside an egg. They are tastefully decorative conversation pieces, and fulfill that function without the pretension or the devisive cuteness so frequently associated with that sort of thing.

Knute Stiles