Martha Jackson Graphics
Martha Jackson Graphics
May 2 - Aug 16 2015
UB Anderson Gallery
The UB Anderson Gallery is proud to present a new exhibition of prints from the University at Buffalo Art Collection. A recent donation from the David K. Anderson Charitable Remainder Trust more than doubled the size of the university’s modern graphics collection with prints from the Martha Jackson and David Anderson collections. Artists include Karel Appel, Jim Dine, Claire Faulkenstein, Sam Francis, Paul Jenkins, Lester Johnson, Joan Mitchell, William Scott, and Antoni Tàpies.
Co-curated by Robert Scalise, Assistant Director of Collections and Exhibitions and Sandra Olsen, Director, the sixty-two prints highlight the depth of the collection, presenting complete portfolios and series of prints including the Crash series, 1960-61 by Jim Dine, Alternative Black and White, 1970 by Paul Jenkins, and Suite Catalana, 1972 by Antoni Tàpies.
American prints are so ubiquitous in the art market today that it is difficult to remember how recently American artists considered printmaking as a medium for creating art. Two women are credited with providing the resources and master printers that would attract practicing artists to printmaking. In 1958, June Wayne founded The Tamarind Lithography Workshop in LA. Now located at the University of New Mexico, Tamarind continues to both train master printers and provide fellowships for artists to work with master printers. Tatyana Grosman, who loved artists’ books, discovered two discarded lithographic stones in her yard and single-handedly founded Universal Limited Art Editions to collaboratively produce artists’ books and portfolios. Without support from the art market, however, the new printed art would have languished. Martha Jackson Gallery in New York City was one of the first galleries to exhibit and sell printed art by the modern artists she represented.
Recognized as one of the most influential art dealers who contributed to the shaping of the post-WWII American art scene, Martha Jackson is well known for her groundbreaking exhibitions such as New Forms, New Media, 1960, and Environments, Situations, Space, 1961. Her first exhibition of prints was Ten Lithographs, 1959 by Catalonian artist, Antoni Tàpies that was also the artist’s first exhibition in New York City. By 1960, she dedicated a separate gallery space for printed art. Managed by her son, David Anderson, and named David Anderson Gallery, the first exhibition in 1960 presented prints by Karel Appel. Almost simultaneously, David opened the Galerie Anderson-Mayer in Paris, which between 1961 and 1967 introduced prints and other artworks by American artists to the European art market.
At the request of Jim Dine, Martha Jackson and David Anderson produced their first prints. Dine wanted to create a series of prints related to his 1960 performance, The Car Crash. Unique among his prints in content and style, the images in the important Crash series reflect both the gestural abstraction in Dine’s early works and the initial use of words and iconic images. In 1962, Dine had his first solo exhibition at Martha Jackson Gallery.
Experimentation in printmaking is demonstrated by some of the artists through various editions and states. Examples include four of the same images printed in different colors by Lester Johnson, two works printed from the same plates by Sam Francis, one with black, silver and gray ink and one other in full color; and Pears by William Scott—a beautiful set of printed images with subtle alterations. The exhibition also includes early and rare examples of prints by Karel Appel, Claire Falkenstein, John Hultberg, Joan Mitchell, and Julian Stanczak.
Martha Jackson and David Anderson consistently organized and exhibited print exhibitions, published print brochures, held special annual print sales, and produced prints. Anderson himself designed the logo for Martha Jackson Graphics, a cursive “J,” which was used to make an embossed stamp that appears on two of the prints in the exhibition. A selection from the wealth of related ephemeral material in the Martha Jackson Gallery Archives is also on display.