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Zarina: Paper Like Skin

  • "Zarina: Paper Like Skin"

  • Hammer Museum, Los Angeles
  • The Guggenheim Museum, New York
Displacement and memory, and a keen yearning for order, are the key themes running through the very compelling and personal survey, “Zarina: Paper Like Skin.” Zarina’s first-ever retrospective, spanning 50 years of the Indian-born artist’s work, presents not only a deeply felt personal commentary on a life lived in exile, but also a catalog of the remarkable breadth of technique that has become integrated into the printer’s art in the last half century. Read More

Afterimage: The Prints of Bruce Conner

  • "Afterimage: The Prints of Bruce Conner"

  • Senior & Shopmaker Gallery, New York, NY

Bruce Conner, BOMBHEAD (2002), pigment inkjet print on Somerset paper with hand-coloring, image 31 1/2 x 25 inches, sheet 35 x 32 inches. Edition of 20. Signed lower right in pencil. Printed by Donald Farnsworth at Magnolia Editions, published by the artist and Magnolia Editions, Oakland, CA. ©Conner Family Foundation. Photo courtesy Senior & Shopmaker Gallery.

There are prints of Bruce Conner’s that become gently graphed onto one’s visual cortex if given enough viewing time. The effect is fleeting, but unmistakable, and it’s what gives this exhibition its title, “Afterimage.” It is uncommon to anchor a body of offset lithographs in the viewer’s sensual experience, but that is precisely what Conner’s early efforts were meant to do. Without intent, one’s gaze deepens to a stare, tracing tightly wound, jet-black, labyrinthine lines across a creamy white page. Read More

Material Assumptions: Paper as Dialogue

  • "Material Assumptions: Paper as Dialogue"

  • The Center for Book and Paper Arts, Chicago

Ian Schneller, White Hornlet (2012), handmade cotton paper, mixed media, 19 x 19 x 5 inches. Photo: Rod Slemmons.

"Material Assumptions” is a provocation to reconsider paper—specifically handmade paper, and its potential to support, hold and challenge form. The exhibition was developed through an independent study graduate course at Chicago’s Columbia College led by Jessica Cochran, Read More

Inuit Prints, Japanese Inspiration: Early Printmaking in the Canadian Arctic

  • "Inuit Prints, Japanese Inspiration: Early Printmaking in the Canadian Arctic"

  • Canadian Museum of Civilization
  • Winnipeg Art Gallery

Niviasi [Niviaksiak], Three Caribou (1957), stonecut, 23 x 36.5 cm. Printed by Kananginak Pootoogook, Cape Dorset, Canada.

In the late 1950s, The West Baffin Eskimo Co-Operative in Cape Dorset was an exciting place to be in the Canadian East Arctic. Its burst of experimental creativity, its trajectory from single room craft shop to important print studio, and its impact in terms of cultural exchange Read More

L’Estampe originale: A Celebrated Album of Original Printmaking, 1893-95

  • "l’Estampe Originale: A Celebrated Album of Original Printmaking 1893-1895"

  • Minneapolis Institute of Art

Norbert Goeneutte, Femme vue de face (1894), lithograph printed in brown ink, image 53.18 x 25.24 cm, sheet 60.01 x 43.5 cm. Collection Minneapolis Institute of Arts. Gift of C.G. Boerner, 2011.58.2.

Fin de siècle France is in some ways a very familiar place—a landscape saturated with advertising; consumers obsessed with “originality;” an expanding art world a bit too delighted with its own glittering success; all of it surrounded with masses freshly dispossessed by surging tides of capitalism. It was one of those moments when art’s status as a commodity was inescapable, for better and worse. The ‘better’ was on view in the Minneapolis Institute of Art’s recent print exhibition, “l’Estampe Originale: A Celebrated Album of Original Printmaking 1893-1895” (through 9 December 2012). Read More

Martin Kippenberger’s Raft of the Medusa

  • "Martin Kippenberger: Raft of the Medusa"

  • Carolina Nitsch, New York

Martin Kippenberger, Raft of the Medusa (1996), suite of fourteen lithographs, edition of 26, various sizes on various papers, each signed and numbered, in portfolio; portfolio measures 58.42 x 47.62 cm. Edition of 26.

Martin Kippenberger was the sort who might crack a joke during a funeral procession, and it would probably be a self-abasing knuckle-biter. He had a coy sense for the tragicomic, a dipsomaniac with a diva’s fondness for the spotlight. His late work, Raft of Medusa (1996), recently on view at Carolina Nitsch accompanied by a pair of drawings on hotel stationary and a few collages, captures the anguish and urgency of a vivacious personality confronting a grave reality. Read More

Designed to Impress: Highlights from the Fitzwilliam Museum Print Collection

  • "Designed to Impress: Highlights from the Fitzwilliam Museum Print Collection"

  • The Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge, United Kingdom
There is an undeniable charm to historic print rooms and the Charrington, the setting for this display of highlights from the Fitzwilliam’s print collections, is just such a space, a calm retreat lined with presses and tucked away behind a suite of galleries where one can well imagine visitors have whiled away many an hour over the years. “No more delectable way of spending a morning could be pursued” a visitor to a similar print room enthused in 1825, “than in feeding the mind, without toil to the body, by such a medium.” Read More

ReThink INK: 25 Years at Mixit Print Studio

  • "ReThink INK: 25 Years at Mixit Print Studio"

  • Boston Public Library

reThink INK Banner on Boston Public Library (2012). Banner design by Flanders+ Associates, Boston, MA. Photo: Heddi Vaughan Siebel.

At the Boylston Street entrance to the Central Library in Copley Square, high on a wall, clings Ilana Manolson’s Terra Flow (2012), an aggregate of the themes running through the Boston Public Library’s current exhibition, “ReThink INK: 25 Years at Mixit Print Studio.” Roots collected in the artist’s neighborhood and Arnold Arboretum link islands of plaster painted with maps from the BPL’s Norman B. Levanthal Map Center. The maps might be seen as referencing the resources available to area residents via the public library system, while the slim but strong tendrils symbolically tie together communities. Read More

The Power of Dreams: Picasso’s Vollard Suite

  • "Picasso Prints—The Vollard Suite"

  • British Museum, London, United Kingdom

Pablo Picasso, Two Catalan Drinkers (29 November 1934), plate 12 of The Vollard Suite (VS 12), etching, 23.7 x 29.7 cm. ©Succession Picasso/DACS 2011.

The exhibition “Picasso Prints—The Vollard Suite” at the British Museum is the result of an extraordinary act of generosity through which the complete suite of one hundred etchings that forms the Vollard Suite has been presented to the museum by Hamish Parker in memory of his father. It was a consequence of a conversation he had with the curator of prints and drawings, Stephen Coppell, during which Coppell mentioned in passing his dream for the museum to acquire what is undoubtedly Picasso’s greatest series of etchings. Read More

Nicole Eisenman: Woodcuts, Etchings, Lithographs and Monotypes at Leo Koenig

  • "Nicole Eisenman: Woodcuts, Etchings, Lithographs and Monotypes"

  • Leo Koenig Inc., New York
In the recent prints of Nicole Eisenman desolation is a destination and it’s teeming with the faceless, the nameless, the wasted, washed out, worn down, and worried. There are familiar faces too; Van Gogh’s Postman is here. He is one of many untitled portraits in a series of forty-two monotypes that are the meat of the exhibition, though not its highlight. The paradox of Eisenman’s very full show—there are around sixty pieces—is that it’s ultimately uplifting despite the abundance of morose and taciturn characters. Read More

Prints and the Pursuit of Knowledge in Early Modern Europe

  • "Prints and the Pursuit of Knowledge in Early Modern Europe"

  • Arthur M. Sackler Museum, Harvard University, Boston
  • Mary and Leigh Block Museum of Art, Northwestern University, Evanston, IL

Jost Amman, The Ptolemaic System (1579) from Barthelemy de Chasseneuz, Catalogus gloraie mundi, Frankfurt: Sigmund Feyerabend, etching and engraving in “Prints and the Pursuit of Knowledge.”

"Prints and the Pursuit of Knowledge in Early Modern Europe” sets out to develop the role of the artist as an integral contributor to visual culture around and during the 16th century. The exhibition provides a convincing argument with a significant collection of etchings, engravings and woodcuts illuminating the artist’s role in the production and introduction of observation, visualization and the importance of collaboration in the execution of new technologies. Read More

“Ellsworth Kelly: Prints and Paintings” at LACMA

  • "Ellsworth Kelly: Prints and Paintings"

  • Los Angeles County Museum of Art

Installation view of “Ellsworth Kelly: Prints and Paintings” at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Spring 2012.

The finely mounted show “Ellsworth Kelly: Prints and Paintings” at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art affords a rare opportunity to see the 50 year arc of this artist’s commitment to editions on paper and to trace some of the high points of the Southern Californian fine art printmakers’ craft in the bargain. Read More

The Art of Copying: Copycat at The Clark Art Institute

  • "Copycat: Reproducing Works of Art"

  • Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute, Williamstown, MA

Fig. 1. William Baillie, The Three Trees (c. 1800), after Rembrandt, etching, engraving and mezzotint on paper, image 20.8 x 28 cm, sheet 32 x 39.1 cm. Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute, Williamstown, Massachusetts. Gift of James A. Bergquist in memory of Charles C. Cunningham.

"Copycat: Reproducing Works of Art,” at the Clark Art Institute in Williamstown, Massachusetts, provided a fresh look at an oft-studied subject: the copying and dissemination of works of art through the production of multiples. The compact and handsome show included 43 prints and photographs, ranging in date from the 16th to the 19th centuries. Co-curated by Curatorial Research Associate Alexis Goodin and James Pilgrim, a student in the Williams College Graduate Program in the History of Art, the exhibition was gleaned from over 1200 possible works in the Clark’s outstanding permanent holdings. Read More

“Pulled Pressed and Printed” in Chicago

  • "Pulled Pressed and Printed"

  • Expo 72 Gallery, Chicago
The "Pulled Pressed and Printed" exhibition of Chicago printmakers on view at Expo 72 was initially underwhelming. At first I was put off by the slightly haphazard display and DIY aesthetic. There was little information about the printmakers and the presses they worked with. However, as I circled the relatively small space, noting the different printmaking studios, I began to appreciate and savor Read More

IPCNY New Prints 2011 / Autumn

  • "IPCNY New Prints 2011 / Autumn"

  • International Print Center New York

Fig. 4. Preeti Sood, Patriarchy (2011), laser engraving and etching on enhanced matte paper, 14 x 17 1/2 inches. Edition of 10. Printed and published by the artist.

Gallery walls are often discouragingly homogenous places—not just in terms of race, gender, or political leanings of the artists whose work congregates there, but also in terms of renown. There are precious few places where the work of yet-to-be recognized artists gets to rub shoulders with its blue chip cousins, so the International Print Center New York‘s regular New Prints exhibitions often constitute a breath of fresh air. Read More

Sigmar Polke: Photoworks 1964–2000

  • "Sigmar Polke: Photoworks 1964–2000"

  • Leo Koenig Inc., New York City

Fig. 1. Sigmar Polke, Untitled (1964-68/90), gelatin silver print, 23.7 x 19.8 inches. Courtesy Leo Koenig Inc., New York.

Sigmar Polke was an artist of cultivated irreverence—a provocateur, a born boundary pusher. When it came to photography his eagerness to flout the familiar found expression through the printing process than through any particulars of what he was shooting. Read More

The Politics of Geography and Process: Impressions from South Africa, 1965 to Now

  • "Impressions from South Africa, 1965 to Now"

  • The Museum of Modern Art, New York

Fig. 1. Charles Nkosi, Submission to Death from Black Crucifixion (1976), one from a series of thirteen linocuts, 39 x 24.7 cm. Published by the artist, Rorke’s Drift, KwaZulu-Natal. Gift of the Associates of the Department of Prints and Illustrated Books, 2007, The Museum of Modern Art.

The politics of geography and process intersect across borders and decades in the thoughtful and thought-provoking exhibition on view at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) "Impressions from South Africa, 1965 to Now." These intersections are enriched by the confluences between "Impressions" and the magisterial "German Expressionism: The Graphic Impulse," which was concurrently on view in the expansive sixth floor galleries (see John Ganz’s review, "Sturm und Drang on 53rd Street," Art in Print, July–August 2011). Read More

Sturm und Drang on 53rd Street

  • "German Expressionism: The Graphic Impulse"

  • Museum of Modern Art, New York

Fig. 3. Emil Nolde, Prophet (1912), woodcut, composition 32.1 x 22.2 cm. The Museum of Modern Art, New York, given anonymously (by exchange), 1956, ©Nolde Stiftung, Seebüll, Germany.

“German Expressionism: The Graphic Impulse” is a showcase for The Museum of Modern Art’s extensive collection of German graphic art from the first decades of the 20th century. Read More

Odilon Redon: Prince of Dreams (1840–1916)

  • "Odilon Redon: Prince of Dreams (1840–1916)"

  • Grand Palais, Paris
  • Musée Fabre, Montpellier

Fig. 2. Odilon Redon, L’Oeil, comme un ballon bizarre se dirige vers l’infini (The Eye Like a Strange Balloon Mounts Toward Infinity) (1882), lithograph, 25.9 x 19.6 cm. Photo: ©Bibliothèque nationale de France.

"Odilon Redon: Prince du Rêve," the massive show at the Grand Palais, is at its heart a print exhibition. Despite the presence of some 170 paintings, pastels, and charcoal drawings, it is the one hundred or so prints here (most on loan from the Bibliothèque nationale) that dominate the proceedings. Read More

Nicola López: Structural Detours

  • "Nicola López: Structural Detours"

  • Pace Prints (Chelsea), New York
Nicola López churns rigid industrial forms into swirling organic masses in her recent monoprints on view at Pace Prints. Chain link fence, thick cords of rope, spools of razor wire, ribbed tubing, and steel girders that resemble the bones of a well-built bridge appear thoroughly entangled as if engaged in a complex dance or a carefully choreographed brawl. Read More