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Paulson Fontaine Press

Berkeley, US

Paulson Fontaine Press produces and publishes limited edition intaglio prints. The press emerged from the San Francisco Bay Area’s rich tradition of fine art printmaking. Paulson Fontaine Press’s philosophy is to facilitate rather than direct an artist, creating an environment where artists can do their best work.

In January of 1997, the press launched its first publication with four color etchings by Christopher Brown. Since then, PFP has published more than 500 editions with more than 45 artists including Tauba Auerbach, Ross Bleckner, Spencer Finch, Charles Gaines, the Quilters of Gee’s Bend, Isca Greenfield-Sanders, Kerry James Marshall, and Martin Puryear.


Paulson Fontaine Press


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Wholesome Encounters explores themes and motifs present in Paulson Fontaine Press’s newly released edition by William Scott, Untitled (Future Inner Limits). Scott’s extensive painting practice includes portraits and cityscapes that imagine Black figures—mainly celebrities, civil rights leaders, and members of the artist’s community—in a more equitable society. Scott develops alternative realities and visions for the future centered around the mission to “promote peace on earth and good wholesome human behavior.” In Untitled (Future Inner Limits), Scott depicts a group of people aboard a train and describes the passengers as “wholesome, humorous, peacemakers building a better world for the 21st century. No more scary people, monsters, horrors.” While his works are hopeful projections for a bright future, Scott simultaneously confronts the viewer with a reminder that in our current society, the inequality, tragedy, and loss that the passengers are escaping still exist.
To expand on the vision William Scott puts forth, presented are prints from a variety of artists whose work, in one way or another, embodies his alternative ideal future. Each piece in the show touches on a form of utopia, escape, or idealism, doing so with an enticing color pallet and inherent otherworldliness. These prints point toward a bright future and the dawn of a new generation. Depictions of fresh flowers, a pristine home, and energy bursts contribute to this sense of optimism. These prints don’t deny the existence of the messy, complicated, unjust, and even scary facts of life, in fact, they are more powerful because of them.
In Spencer Finch’s Back to Kansas, a colorful abstraction of the film The Wizard of Oz, the vivid colors of Oz and Munchkinland are placed next to the green of the Wicked Witch and the gray of smoke that billows in her presence. As a passenger aboard William Scott’s Future Inner Limits, the viewer of Wholesome Encounters is ushered in by Chris Johanson’s Energy 1, a burst of positive intentions and infinite possibilities. As we move into the future these works choose beauty, peace, comfort, compassion, and community because imagining a brighter future is the first step in attaining one.

Lucy Stark

William Scott

Untitled (Future Inner Limits)


21.5" x 36.75"

Color aquatint and hardground etching with gold leaf.

Edition of 35


Chris Johanson

Energy 1