Taking the explosion of the screenprint in London in the early 1960s as its starting point, this major exhibition identifies significant strategies exploited by European artists to extend their aesthetic vision within the mediums of prints, books, and multiples. Seminal figures such as Richard Hamilton, Joseph Beuys, Marcel Broodthaers, and Georg Baselitz serve as anchors to sections that explore commercial techniques, serial abstraction, language, confrontational approaches, and the expressionist impulse. Concentrations of prints and books by Hanne Darboven, Mangelos, and Dieter Roth, among others, introduce work rarely shown in the United States and attempt to characterize distinctly European voices. Posters by Martin Kippenberger and Franz West reveal the exuberance of that medium, and wallpaper by Sarah Lucas, Peter Kogler, and Damien Hirst exemplify the recent fascination with this populist printed format.
The contemporary section includes projects by younger artists from Eastern and Western Europe and showcases the creativity being channeled into printed art by today’s generation. Comprising over three hundred works, including domestic and international loans, this exhibition is the first museum study of this innovative and lesser-known facet of contemporary art. The exhibition is accompanied by a major publication.
Organized by Deborah Wye, The Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Chief Curator, and Wendy Weitman, Curator, Department of Prints and Illustrated Books.