Pérez Art Museum Miami Examines Evolution of Printmaking in US In Exhibition of Work by Jasper Johns, Ellsworth Kelly, Roy Lichtenstein, Robert Rauschenberg, Kiki Smith, and Andy Warhol, Among Many Others.
MIAMI – September 2, 2014 – On September 10, Pérez Art Museum Miami will open an exhibition exploring the evolution of fine printmaking in the United States in the period following 1960. The exhibition will feature several important prints and multiples gifted to PAMM from Holding Capital Group Inc., including works by Jasper Johns, Roy Lichtenstein, Robert Rauschenberg, and James Rosenquist. These works will be augmented by additional prints and objects loaned from the Holding Capital Group collection, which has been carefully assembled over the last thirty years and illuminates the significance of printmaking within the contemporary art context. On view through March 1, 2015, Beyond the Limited Life of Painting: Prints and Multiples from the Holding Capital Group will include works by Ellsworth Kelly, Jane Hammond, Sol LeWitt, Elizabeth Murray, Isamu Noguchi, Kiki Smith, and Andy Warhol, among numerous others.
The exhibition examines more than 50 years of printmaking, tracing its historic importance to public debate in the 1930s and 1940s to its emergence as a valued artistic medium in the Pop Art Movement of the 1950s and 1960s and through to its role in today’s creative production. Beyond the Limited Life of Painting focuses in particular on the generation of artists in the post-war period, who rejected Abstract Expressionism and actively returned to representation. With the resurgence of the figure and a newfound interest among artists in “found” imagery, printmaking acquired a new critical utility. Many artists came to believe that traditional art forms such as painting could be made more meaningful through the reproduction and circulation of powerful images to an ever-growing audience, leveraging the medium as a fresh way to communicate with the public.
“The Holding Capital Group collection features an exceptional selection of prints from across the last several decades, showcasing the diversity of artists engaged with the medium. PAMM’s exhibition of these works offers an opportunity to shed further light on the development of printmaking and its position in the fine art lexicon,” said Thom Collins, PAMM’s Director. “The principals at Holding Capital Group have generously gifted several important works to PAMM’s permanent collection—extending the depth and scope of our 20th-and 21st-century holdings—and have loaned an additional selection to help make this exhibition possible. We are grateful for their support and vision and look forward to sharing these works with our many audiences.”
Among the 10 works given to PAMM’s permanent collection are:
- Jasper Johns, The Seasons (Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter), 1987. The prints that make up the series are based on a set of four monumental paintings created by the artist and inspired by a 1936 painting by Pablo Picasso—Minotaur Moving His House. The prints, like the earlier paintings, are imbued with a sense of the artist looking back at his own life and career.
- Roy Lichtenstein, Water Lilies with Willows, 1992. Printed on stainless steel, this work was part of a series the artist developed in the 1990s focusing on water lilies. The painting depicts the flowers interspersed with broad swathes of color and his signature stripes, Ben-Day dots, and other patterns, creating an abstract visual motif.
- Robert Rauschenberg, Cardbird II, 1971. A collage print on corrugated cardboard. This work belongs to a lesser-known series developed in the 1970s, in which Rauschenberg experimented with cardboard boxes and other materials found on his studio. Taking discarded materials from his studio, Rauschenberg embraced the box ¨as is¨ with stains and marks and manipulated its form to create an all new art object.
- James Rosenquist, Drawing on Label, 1989. A mixed media work on paper, it embodies Rosenquist’s experimental printing practice characterized by the incorporation of “found” objects. The drawing depicts a paint bucket with several pencils in vivid colors. A scroll of paper full of pencil markings unravels from underneath its frame, playfully pointing to the idea of putting a drawing on a label.
Additional Highlights from the exhibition include:
- Ellsworth Kelly’s Untitled, 1986. A stainless steel sculpture. With a triangular form, Untitled has an elegant geometric simplicity, embodying the smooth and monochromatic flatness that distinguishes Kelly´s work. This is wall relief made in metal, which shifts in light and tone depending on its environment.
- Jane Hammond’s cyanotype, Untitled #37, 1989. Untitled #37 shows Hammond´s interest in compositions that utilize drawing and photographic and printing techniques. The artist made pencil traces on a paper to which she affixed easily recognizable imagery such as a cowboy wrapped in a rope and dynamite with linoleum blocks.
- Roy Lichtenstein’s Blonde from Brushstrokes Figures, 1987. A mixed-media piece composed of a lithograph, woodcut, and silkscreen. In this work, Lichenstein created a semi-abstract composition through patterning, blocks of color, Ben-day dots, stripes, and other of his iconic Pop gestures.
- Elizabeth Murray’s lithographs, Up Dog and Down Dog, 1988. Up Dog and Down Dog have irregularly shaped canvases and show images of the everyday (dogs) in an abstract humorous fashion. Murray takes a cartoonist portrayal of canines, disjointing the animal’s body to create a sense of abstraction, and layering multiple colors into the compositions.
- Isamu Noguchi’s galvanized steel sculpture, Squirrel, 1984-85. Squirrel embodies the organic qualities representative of Noguchi´s sculptures, in which curved sculptural planes with biomorphic appearances conjoin forming a unified whole. This four-sided object resembles a design cartoon character of a squirrel, and it also animates the gallery space by making the viewer move around to appreciate its twisting steel formations.
- And 12 lithographs with aluminum lead additions on handmade Japanese paper by Kiki Smith, titled Banshee Pearls, 1991. This work is composed of 12 lithographs presenting multiple images of the artist’s face, as she took several photographs, manipulated, and reconfigured them in these prints. Banshee Pearls shows Smith’s interest in layering and self-portraiture, through which in this work she consciously disregards her body as an integral part of representation.
Pérez Art Museum Miami (PAMM) promotes artistic expression and the exchange of ideas, advancing public knowledge and appreciation of art, architecture and design, and reflecting the diverse community of its pivotal geographic location at the crossroads of the Americas. A 29-year-old South Florida institution formerly known as Miami Art Museum (MAM), Pérez Art Museum Miami opened a new building, designed by world-renowned architects Herzog & de Meuron, in Downtown Miami’s Museum Park on December 4, 2013. The facility and is a state-of-the-art model for sustainable museum design and progressive programming and features 200,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor program space with flexible galleries; shaded outdoor verandas; a waterfront restaurant and bar; a museum shop; and an education center with a library, media lab and classroom spaces. For more information, please visit www.pamm.org, find us on Facebook (facebook.com/perezartmuseummiami), or follow us on Twitter (@pamm).