Pressing Print chronicles the recent decade of artwork published by the renowned American printmaking workshop, Universal Limited Art Editions. The exhibition brings together new print works made by the vanguards of 20th century American Art with the emerging artists recently selected to collaborate at Universal. The selections illustrate the impact that artists like Jasper Johns, Robert Rauschenberg, Helen Frankenthaler and Kiki Smith have had on contemporary art, evident through the work of artists Jason Middelbrook, Amy Cutler and Jane Hammond.
For decades, Jerome Witkin has been one of America's leading figurative painters. His work springs from a profound love of drawing, a critical intelligence, and an empathetic sensibility. He carries the grand Western European tradition of history painting forward into our era. His work is dramatic and the narratives he envisions reveal themselves through time. The scale of these works pushes the viewer back to apprehend the whole, while the surfaces he creates pull the viewer close to the canvas to admire the beauty of the brushstrokes.
Photography’s evolution as an art form has been influenced by countless individuals, thematic styles, and chemical processes. Initially, photography was used largely to document what surrounded or intrigued the public eye. As more individuals began using cameras, the idea grew that photography could be a form of art in addition to a form of documentation. This captured the attention of many artists, most notably Alfred Stieglitz, who formed the Photo Secession and helped establish Pictorialism.
From the 1930s to the 1980s the printed image in American art went through profound changes. Beginning with the black and white lithographs that were popularized by the regionalists and urban realists, and continuing through the experimental intaglio prints of the 1940s and 1950s, the ‘Pop’ explosion of screenprints in the 1960s, and the precision of super realism in the 1970s, printmaking has captured the imagination of countless American artists. This exhibition of 50 American prints surveys the activities of artists who put designs on paper during this exciting period.