Modern Women's Prints

Jan 14, 2018 - Mar 18, 2018 | Snite Museum of Art

2013 022 002 V0001 900

Emmi Whitehorse (American, b. 1957), Untitled (from Untitled Series), 2011, monotype, 29.75 x 22.25, inches. Acquired with funds provided by the Humana Foundation Endowment for American Art, 2013.022.002. © Emmi Whitehorse (detail)

O’Shaughnessy Gallery West
January 14, 2018 – March 18, 2018

Modern Women’s Prints includes over thirty works drawn from the permanent collection of the Snite Museum, some of which have never been on public view in the Museum. The selected prints are by female artists whose styles are drawn from many cultural traditions, and reflect the full array of printmaking techniques. Among the artists represented are Jennifer Bartlett, Deborah Muirhead Dancy, Grace Hartigan, Lee Krasner, Koo Kyung Sook, and Emmi Whitehorse.

Late in the nineteenth century, many artists in Europe and the United States became interested in printmaking as a creative process. Unlike their predecessors, these printmakers designed their own images, created their printing matrices, and pulled their own multiple originals by hand or at the press. The notion of self-reliance was comfortable to Americans, and many women and men pursued printmaking craft: hobbies that often grew into profession. During the 1910s and 1920s, women helped organize the spread of print clubs across the United States, and during the Great Depression they worked in the government-sponsored Works Progress Administration printshops. However, when the market for fine prints evaporated during World War II, the graphic media approached to extinction.

In 1957 Tatyana Grosmann opened her print workshop, Universal Art Limited Editions (ULAE), on Long Island. She invited artists working in other media to visit and collaborate with a professional printer on their own fine prints.

Soon thereafter, the painter June Wayne opened Tamarind Lithography Workshop in Los Angeles, with the support of the Ford Foundation. Aside from establishing a professional studio for the complex method of lithography, Tamarind was designed to train master printers, and thereby revitalize printmaking practice in the United States.

Over the next sixty years, an unprecedented flourish of graphic art followed in this country, as artists from many other visual media tried their hand at printmaking. This exhibition includes works printed and published by ULAE, and others produced by Tamarind-trained Master Printers.