Index : A Group Exhibition of Significant Prints
May 31, 2012 — June 22, 2012
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
INDEX: PRINTS BY PROMINENT MID-CENTURY AND CONTEMPORARY ARTISTS AT PAGE BOND GALLERY, THURSDAY, MAY 31, 2012.
The Page Bond Gallery is pleased to present Index: a selection of prints by prominent post-war and contemporary artists, including works by Donald Baechler, Tara Donovan, Jim Dine, Mary Heilman, Ellsworth Kelly, Kiki Smith, William Steiger, Pat Steir, Donald Sultan, and Cy Twombly.
Jim Dine entered the New York art world to great acclaim with his ‘Happenings’ and mixed media assemblages of the late 1950s and early 1960s. For artists like Dine, Robert Rauschenberg, and Claes Oldenburg, art was to be expansive and inclusive, appropriating non-art materials, embracing ordinary reality and celebrating popular culture. Although he is most often associated with American Pop Art and Neo-Dada of the 1960s, his work speaks more to a lifelong pursuit of meaning and insight. Dine is an avid printmaker. While the familiar motifs from his oeuvre—hearts, robes, tools, hands, trees, and flowers—join with new iconic elements in his prints, the medium is well suited to showcase his virtuosity and innovation. Each of these themes holds such personal significance for the artist that he refers to them as self-portraits.
Born in 1935 in Cincinnati, Ohio, Dine received a B.F.A. from Ohio University before moving to New York in 1958. His work is included in public collections throughout the world including the Art Institute of Chicago; the Brooklyn Museum; the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Tate Gallery, London; Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum, Tokyo; and the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York.
American artist Ellsworth Kelly is universally recognized as one of the most important contributors to American abstraction. Like Robert Rauschenberg, Kelly plumbed the logic of the index to find a way to suppress the autographic mark and to break through to a form of “noncomposition.” The indexical nature of printmaking makes it ideally suited to this endeavor, and since 1988 Kelly has developed an exceedingly prolific print practice. Kelly’s prints are an often-overlooked area of his work, but critic Richard Axsom writes that they “exchange the totemic presence, the tangible physicality and public assertiveness of the paintings and sculptures for the qualities no less genuine in registering Kelly’s vision: intimacy, delicacy, and an unmatched ethereality.”
Born in 1923 in Newburgh, New York, Ellsworth Kelly has been the subject of major exhibitions at The Museum of Modern Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art, and the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York. His work belongs to numerous public collections, including the Centre Pompidou, Paris, the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia, Madrid, and the Tate Modern, London. Kelly lives and works in Spencertown, New York.
Kiki Smith is one of the most celebrated American artists of her generation. Much of her work focuses on the female body as violated and mourned. Her graphic, occasionally grisly figures evoke mortality and anxiety about loss. She has often cast organs and bones like hearts, wombs, pelvises, and ribs in various materials like wax, plaster, porcelain, and bronze. Though she is best known as a sculptor, Smith considers printmaking fundamental to her work. She has made prints using every possible process, from rubber-stamping to photocopying, and she thinks of the activity of printmaking in symbolic terms. “Prints mimic what we are as humans,” she has said. “We are all the same and yet everyone is different. I also think there’s a spiritual power in repetition, a devotional quality, like saying rosaries.”
Kiki Smith was born in 1954 in Nuremberg, Germany. Her work belongs to the collections of, among others, the Museum of Modern Art, New York; the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; the Los Angeles County Museum of Art; the Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, DC; and the Tate Gallery of Art, London. She lives and works in New York City.
Pat Steir is a prolific American artist who has spent 40 years developing a method of making a kind of art that, “free of constraints, is liberating to experience.” She is best recognized for her loosely dripped and splashed “waterfall” works, which she began in the late eighties. Her work has been described as a conversation with the past, informed by her interest in art history and influenced by 19th Century Romanticism, Abstract Expressionism, Japanese Woodcuts, and Chinese landscape paintings of the Song and Tan dynasties. Steir’s continuous search for the essence of painting led her to the Zen influenced composer John Cage, who she met in 1980, and Minimalist painter Agnes Martin. She is an accomplished printmaker, and she has said that she makes her work with the attitude of a gymnast, “first the meditation, then the leap.”
Born in 1940, Pat Steir had her first one-person exhibition at the Terry Dintenfass Gallery in New York in 1964 and has been showing nationally and internationally since that time including participation in several Whitney Biennials, Venice Biennales and Documenta IX. Her work is included in the collections of the Tate Gallery, London; the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; and the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, among others.
Concurrent with this exhibition will be Emerged, a selection of works by recent VCU MFA graduates Melissa Athey, April Dauscha, and Andy Meerow.
An opening reception will take place at the Page Bond Gallery on Thursday, May 31, from 7 to 9 pm. The exhibition will remain on view through Tuesday, June 26, 2012