A Way to Make Pictures

Oct 2, 2021 — Jan 8, 2022
Level 2 Hunting Gallery

When asked about his approach to art, Jasper Johns once said, I am just trying to find a way to make pictures.”

Printmaking is one method Johns, and many other modern and contemporary artists, have used to make extraordinary pictures. This exhibition is a companion to An Art of Changes: Jasper Johns Prints, 1960 – 2018. Drawn from GRAM’s extensive collection of prints, A Way to Make Pictures showcases artists who, like Johns, have pushed the boundaries of traditional printmaking in both technique and subject matter. The versatile medium allows artists to continually experiment with materials and processes. Many of the prints in this exhibition combine time-tested printmaking techniques with innovative ideas, like printing on nontraditional surfaces, mixing prints with other media, and employing unconventional tools.

From the 1960s onward, printmaking transformed American art. Artists embraced the myriad of printmaking techniques, from traditional forms like woodcut and engraving to commercial processes like screenprinting. Printshops like Universal Limited Art Editions (ULAE), founded in New York in 1957, and Gemini G.E.L., founded in Los Angeles in 1966, brought the most recognized artists of the day together with skilled master printers to create highly innovative print editions. The experimental print works of emerging artists like Jasper Johns and Robert Rauschenberg helped establish these printshops and influenced other artists to explore the possibilities of printmaking as an important artform.