For centuries, artists have engaged in printmaking to enhance and expand their creative output, attracted to a medium that can render unexpected results. Collaborating with master printmakers, artists make impressions designed from their inception to be expressed in a specific technique, such as etching, silkscreen or woodcut. Each print has an element of originality, with no two impressions being identical. The process also allows artists to make their work more accessible to collectors.
We are thrilled to feature prime examples of prints by important and established painters who are also naturally gifted printmakers. The artists in this show have carefully selected specific techniques best suited to their own formal expression. Many of their multiples are highly coveted by collectors and, in some cases, their editions sell out as soon as they are published. Andy Warhol’s compelling high-contrast silkscreened “Flowers,” for instance, quickly became an iconic cultural image when it was first created in the 1970s and is considered a prized image among collectors. Donald Sultan works with the same silkscreen technique using enamel inks and flocking to deconstruct his forms, echoing the industrial materials and variant surfaces seen in his large-scale work. Ross Bleckner translates his “Cell” paintings series onto paper also using a multi-colored silkscreen process.
Other artists in the show embrace the more traditional techniques of relief and engraving, combining them to bring a layered complexity to their compositions. Jim Dine uses two opposing methods, copperplate etching and the woodcut to give his revered heart motif a vibrant, expressionistic energy. Caio Fonseca works with an amalgamate of etching processes such as aquatints and soft grounds to make layered and overlapping bold abstractions. Betty Merken opts for the oil-based monotype and also blurs the boundaries between printmaking and sculpture with her “Slab Structures.” The show demonstrates these artists’ full commitment to the craft of printmaking.