Richard H. Axsom is curator at the Madison Museum of Contemporary art, print scholar, and professor emeritus of art history, University of Michigan.

What Seems To Be Isn’t: Robert Gober’s Untitled (1999)

Robert Gober, detail from Untitled (1991 for Parkett 27) (1999), lithograph on newsprint with handtorn edges, printed on both sides and folded three times, hand-colored with coffee by the artist, each unique, 56.7 x 35.4 cm. Edition of 75. Printed by Maurice Sanchez & Joe Petruzzelli, Derrière L’Etoile Studio, New York. Published by Parkett Editions, Zurich.

Robert Gober confronts us with a page torn from the Metropolitan section of The New York Times, dated Thursday, Oct. 4, 1960. Untitled (1991 for Parkett 27), printed on toned newsprint, folded three times and stained with coffee Read More

No. 4: Breathing Touch by Annu Vertanen

I made my way with great pleasure through all the submissions for the fourth Prix de Print competition. Though aware, as previous jurors have been, of the limitations of digital imagery when assessing the full sensuous worth of a print, I did not feel entirely stymied. Aesthetic strategies of formal design, expression, idea and historical resonance could be mine to judge. Read More

Just the Right Color: Ellsworth Kelly’s Red

Left: Ellsworth Kelly, Color Trial Proof 3 of Red [deep indigo] (2005), lithograph, 84.5 x 75.9 cm. ©Ellsworth Kelly and Gemini G.E.L., LLC, Los Angeles. Center: Color Trial Proof 1 of Red [cherry red] (2005), lithograph, 84.5 x 75.9 cm. ©Ellsworth Kelly and Gemini G.E.L., LLC, Los Angeles. Right: Trial Proof of Red [red-orange] (2005), lithograph, 84.5 x 75.9 cm. ©Ellsworth Kelly and Gemini G.E.L., LLC, Los Angeles.

A few years back at Gemini G.E.L., the print publishing workshop in Los Angeles, I was doing research for a catalogue raisonné of Ellsworth Kelly’s prints. The catalogue, published in 2012, was occasioned by a retrospective of the artist’s prints organized by the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Kelly, an ambitious printmaker, had created at this point over 300 printed editions since the 1960s. He was first known, however, and is perhaps best known to most, as a painter of vibrantly colored geometric shapes. Read More