Daniel Joseph Martinez
Slavs and Tatars
Gert and Uwe Tobias
The exhibition examines the role of the print medium in artistic practices over the last two decades. It features large-scale installations and participatory projects, including works by Martin Kippenberger, Thomas Schutte, Superflex, and Rirkrit Tiravanija; a site-specific Felix Gonzalez-Torres project, will be on view on billboards around NY City. The related exhibition Printin' is a tour de force portfolio of 60 works by Ellen Gallagher that brings together work by more than 50 artists from multiple disciplines. Millennium Magazines is a survey of experimental art and design magazines published since 2000.
The International Council of The Museum of Modern Art Gallery, sixth floor
Print/Out at The Museum of Modern Art examines the many roles that prints play in artistic practices today, embracing the versatile and global nature of contemporary art in the last two decades. On view from February 19 to May 14, 2012, in The International Council of The Museum of Modern Art Exhibition Gallery, Print/Out brings together approximately 70 series or projects drawn from MoMA’s extensive collection of more than 50,000 prints and illustrated books, while also including several important loans from private and public collections. Print/Out is part of a series of large-scale print surveys periodically organized by the Museum’s Department of Prints and Illustrated Books in order to assess the current state of the medium. The last two exhibitions were Printed Art: A View of Two Decades, organized by Riva Castleman in 1980, and Thinking Print: Books to Billboards: 1980-1995, organized by Deborah Wye in 1996. Part of Print/Out takes place on the Museum’s second floor with the exhibition Printin’, co-organized by the artist Ellen Gallagher and Associate Curator Sarah Suzuki, and centered around Gallagher’s major portfolio DeLuxe (2004-05). The Museum is also hosting Print Studio, an interactive space that explores the evolution of artistic practices relating to the medium of print, from January 23 to March 9, 2012, in the Mezzanine Level of The Lewis B. and Dorothy Cullman Education and Research Building. Print/Out is organized by Christophe Cherix, The Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Chief Curator of Prints and Illustrated Books, with Kim Conaty, Curatorial Assistant, Department of Prints and Illustrated Books, The Museum of Modern Art.
Focusing on the medium’s defining characteristics—its reproducibility, collaborative nature, and ability to circulate widely—Print/Out explores how artists have integrated these ideas in some of the most innovative art practices of our time. The exhibition features some 40 artists and artist groups, including Ai Weiwei, Trisha Donnelly, General Idea, Martin Kippenberger, Lucy McKenzie, Aleksandra Mir, Robert Rauschenberg, Rirkrit Tiravanija, SUPERFLEX, and Kelley Walker, along with publishers and publishing projects such as Edition Jacob Samuel, museum in progress, and Permanent Food. Among the notable installations is Thomas Schϋtte’s Low Tide Wandering (2001), an ambitious series of 139 prints that will be hung on site by the artist, criss-crossing the gallery space to create a maze-like, immersive environment.
The earliest works in the exhibition coincide with the geopolitical transformations of the late 1980s and early 1990s, an emblematic point of departure for examining a medium, which, because of its capacity to disseminate information, has often been linked to social change. For Vienna-based association museum in progress (founded 1990), newspapers, magazines, and other media spaces offered effective sites for artist interventions, which founders Kathrin Messner and the late artist Josef Ortner commissioned from an impressive range of international artists. While recognized as an artist and political activist, Ai Weiwei (Chinese, b. 1957) is often overlooked in his role as a pioneering publisher, yet the three volumes he produced in the 1990s—known as The Black Cover Book (1994), The White Cover Book (1995), and The Grey Cover Book (1997)—could well be among his most impactful and enduring legacies. These paperbacks, comprised of artists’ submissions, essays, and translations of existing art-historical and critical texts, offered a new vehicle for circulating and disseminating information among China’s contemporary artists during a moment marked by a near total lack of access to foreign monographs, exhibition catalogues, and art magazines.
Another notable artist’s project that demonstrates the potential of the print medium for spreading ideas across vast geographies is Felix Gonzalez-Torres’ “Untitled” (1991). Based on a black-and-white photograph of an unmade bed, this site-specific project is to be presented on public billboard spaces. As part of Print/Out, the work will be on view on billboards in the following six locations throughout New York City from February 20 to March 18, 2012: 11th Avenue and 38th Street in Manhattan; Neptune Avenue and Guider in Brooklyn; Pennsylvania Avenue near Fulton Street in Brooklyn; Van Dam Street near Queens Boulevard in Queens; 31st Street near Ditmars Boulevard in Queens. One additional billboard will be on view at the entrance to the exhibition.
Print/Out opens with a work by Martin Kippenberger (German, 1953-97), who realized an impressive body of multiples in collaboration with various publishers and galleries throughout his career. On view is a set of screenprints from 1992, Inhalt auf Reisen (Content on Tour), which Kippenberger produced with Austrian publisher Edition Artelier. This series is the result of a multistage process that began in 1989 when the artist asked his assistant to make a group of paintings after his own. Deeming the copies “too good,” Kippenberger decided to destroy them, but this apparent end was just the beginning. Several works grew out of these paintings, among them sculptures of industrial containers made to house the smashed-up, discarded paintings, and Content on Tour, whose imagery is based on a photograph of the destroyed paintings in one of the containers. The screenprint exists in four variants: one of the full image and three smaller, cutdown versions, each of which has been mounted on plywood. The artist then used a circular saw to make random linear marks on the surfaces, partially destroying the images and also distinguishing each print as a unique object. The works became the material result of the artist’s previous endeavors in painting, photography, and sculpture, ultimately producing a work that transcends its origin through a long sequence of reproduction and alteration.
Robert Rauschenberg’s (American, 1925–2008) The Lotus Series forms the other bookend to the exhibition. The last printed project completed by the artist before his death, The Lotus Series (2008) exemplifies the experimentation with process and transfer techniques that Rauschenberg engaged in throughout his career. Based on the artist’s small, faded photographs from his trips to China between 1982 and 1985, these 12 large-scale prints were made using high-resolution scans and digital printing processes as well as the photogravure technique. With this series, Rauschenberg blends tradition with innovation, prompting the viewer to look at the receding past with the hyperclarity that recent technology has made possible.
Other featured artists, like Rirkrit Tiravanija (Thai, b. Argentina, 1961) and Philippe Parreno (French, b. 1964), have used prints to recount, share, or reactivate earlier events and ephemeral works. Tiravanija has been challenging traditional models of art-making since the early 1990s, developing a practice based in participation, interaction, and collaboration. Around 1992, the same year as his paradigmatic work Untitled (Free) (which was recently on view in MoMA’s Contemporary Galleries), Tiravanija began to produce editions, publishing the first of many multiples in relation to his ephemeral or experience-based work. These editions included tins of curry paste or a backpack equipped for an expedition, both of which are on view in Print/Out. In 2011 Tiravanija completed what he considers to be his first traditional print project, Untitled 2008–2011 (the map of the land of feeling), comprising three scrolls stretching more than 80 feet altogether. The relentlessly peripatetic artist’s expansive passport—reproduced page by page, end to end—provides both a central organizing structure and an autobiographical narrative, the story of the artist’s life through the places he has visited. For Tiravanija, the laborious production process required for prints of this scale and complexity, involving the collaboration of 40 assistants over a span of four years, was an integral part of the final work.
In Parreno’s Fade to Black (2003)—a set of posters printed in phosphorescent ink—the artist recounts a series of past events organized in collaboration with some of his contemporaries, including Tiravanija as well as Liam Gillick and Pierre Huyghe. Each poster depicts an image or text related to one of these earlier events, with Parreno‘s Argentina vs. Netherlands 1978, Medina 2003 (2003) consisting of a photograph of a workshop that he gave in Medina, Argentina, in 2002. At that workshop Parreno screened the 1978 World Cup soccer final and then asked students “to replay the game in the schoolyard like they would have with a classical theatrical play.” In Print/Out this poster, along with the other posters in the series, is presented in a space in which the lights are programmed to go on and off at regular intervals, producing the strange effect of seemingly blank, white sheets, whose imagery suddenly emerges, glowing vibrantly when the room plunges into darkness. The images repeatedly fade in and out of sight, creating, as the artist describes, “a flickering memory” of his artistic practice.
Another special project presented in Print/Out is by SUPERFLEX, the Copenhagen-based artists’ group (Bjørnstjerne Christiansen [Danish, b. 1969], Jakob Fenger [Danish, b. 1968], and Rasmus Nielsen [Danish, b. 1969]) that has been organizing projects questioning social and economic structures since 1993. The group describes its practice in terms of tools (rather than artworks), utilized in the service of concrete cultural interventions; these tools are not finished products but rather instructions for doing and calls for participation. Copy Light/Factory (2008) addresses the larger implications of copyright through a workshop in which a series of lamp designs are “refabricated” by affixing photocopies of the designs to a basic cubic lighting structure. The resultant lamps reveal how copies of copies can become originals again. At certain times over the course of the exhibition, visitors to the Museum can participate in this project by making these lanterns at work stations, with the results going on view within the gallery space.
Investigating the nature of networks and circulation, Aleksandra Mir (American/Swedish, b. Poland, 1967) has developed a practice that merges cultural anthropology and fine art, investigating social structures, globalization, and the contemporary urban experience. Mir’s elaborate mapping project Naming Tokyo (2003–present) is organized around her solicitation from friends and colleagues of names for Tokyo’s otherwise undesignated streets. Print/Out presents one of the incarnations of this project: blank maps of the city, with legends on the reverse offering proposed organizations for Tokyo’s neighborhoods and streets, according to her research and her friends’ suggestions. Another project, Venezia (all places contain all others) (2009), organized for the 2009 Venice Biennale, consisted of one million fake postcards—ten thousand each of one hundred designs—combining stock images of generic or well-known scenery (such as a picturesque harbor or the New York City skyline) with the Italian city’s name. Just as the colorful maps and playful descriptions of Naming Tokyo mask its underlying critique of colonialism, the Venezia postcards—free souvenirs within the Biennale grounds—explored ideas of tourism, cultural geography, and displacement. In all of her projects, the artist’s light-handed and witty approach to her material often belies the heavier cultural and political content that it invokes.
Print/Out also includes a presentation of the work of California-based printer and publisher, Jacob Samuel (Edition Jacob Samuel, founded 1988). Samuel is best known for his unconventional approach to the print medium, adapting his expertise in the traditional technique of etching to the diverse practices of contemporary artists. This exhibition focuses on Samuel’s “portable printing studio,” a specially made, travel-ready aquatint box that he first used in 1996 with the performance artist Marina Abramović (Yugoslav, b. 1946), traveling to the artist’s Amsterdam studio to work with the artist in her own environment. The result, Spirit Cooking (1996), a portfolio that functions as a cookbook of “essential aphrodisiac recipes,” is on view in the exhibition, along with Samuel’s project with Chris Burden, Coyote Stories (2005), which recounts through handwritten texts and allusive imagery the artist’s personal encounters with coyotes near his Topanga Canyon, California, home. As part of Print/Out, Samuel has worked on a new portfolio with the artists and twin brothers Gert and Uwe Tobias (German, b. Romania, 1973), whose colorful, graphic compositions draw on a range of motifs, from popular culture, Eastern European folk art, and Russian Constructivism. Over the course of three days, Samuel worked with the artists in their Cologne studio, teaching them the basics of etching and helping them translate and adapt motifs from their visual lexicon into a set of plates. Print/Out follows this project through the printing, proofing, and publishing process, presenting a range of working materials and documentation in the galleries, and taking the opportunity to study one of Samuel’s collaborations from start to finish.
Within the exhibition these and other focused presentations are featured alongside areas physically demarcated with dotted wallpaper, in which print series by various artists—including Trisha Donnelly, Damien Hirst, Guillermo Kuitca, Daniel Joseph Martinez, Julie Mehretu, Jorge Pardo, Slavs and Tatars, Kara Walker, Franz West, Pae White, and Xu Bing—are broken apart and interspersed throughout the galleries. The layouts of these sections were designed by Armand Mevis and Linda Van Deursen (Mevis and Van Deursen, Amsterdam), who also served as the designers of the exhibition’s publication. The resulting view within the galleries captures both the familiarity and the ubiquity of prints in today’s landscape, and attests to the extraordinary vitality of a medium central to contemporary artistic practice.
The Paul J. Sachs Prints and Illustrated Books Galleries, second floor
As part of Print/Out, the related exhibition Printin’, co-organized by artist Ellen Gallagher (American, b. 1965) and Sarah Suzuki, Associate Curator, Department of Prints and Illustrated Books at MoMA, is also on view. Printin’ takes as its starting point DeLuxe (2004-05), a tour de force portfolio of 60 works by Gallagher that challenged traditional ideas of what a print could be.
This technically complex work employs a range of mediums, unorthodox tools, and elements, from slicks of greasy pomade to plastic ice cubes. DeLuxe also offers a constellation of ideas, touching on such issues as portraiture, identity, history, advertising, commodity, and the disruption, translation, and recasting of space. Proposing a kind of technical dissection and conceptual unpacking of this portfolio, Printin’ brings together work by more than 50 artists from multiple disciplines in a sweeping chronology that extends from the 17th century to the present day, to propose a free-flowing yet incisive web of associations that are reflected in DeLuxe. Encompassing prints, drawings, films, books, photographs, sculptures, videos, and comic strips, the exhibition features such artists as Vija Celmins, David Hammons, George Herriman, Rammellzee, Robert Rauschenberg, Martha Rosler, Experiens Sillemans, and many others, forming a dense network of formal, technical, and conceptual connections and intersections.
Major support for Print/Out is provided by MoMA’s Wallis Annenberg Fund for Innovation in Contemporary Art through the Annenberg Foundation.
The Museum acknowledges generous funding from Anna Marie and Robert F. Shapiro, Sue and Edgar Wachenheim III, Orentreich Family Foundation, Mary M. Spencer, Philip Aarons and Shelley Fox Aarons, and Sally and Wynn Kramarsky.
Additional support is provided by The Junior Associates of The Museum of Modern Art.
February 20 – May 14, 2012
Mezzanine Level, The Lewis B. and Dorothy Cullman Education and Research Building
This survey of experimental art and design magazines published since 2000 explores the various ways in which contemporary artists and designers utilize the magazine format as an experimental space for the presentation of artworks and text. Throughout the 20th century, international avantgarde activities in the visual arts and design were often codified first in the informal context of a magazine or journal. This exhibition, drawn from the holdings of the MoMA Library, follows the practice into the 21st century. The works on view represent a broad array of international titles within this genre, from community-building newspapers to image-only photography magazines to conceptual design projects. The contents illustrate a diverse range of image-making, editing, design, printing, and distribution practices. There are obvious connections to the past lineage of artists’ magazines and small press architecture and design magazines of the 20th century, as well as a clear sense of the application of new techniques of image-editing and printing methods.
Assembled together, these contemporary magazines provide a first-hand view into these practices and represent the MoMA Library’s sustained effort to document and collect this medium.
Millennium Magazine is organized by Rachael Morrison and David Senior, MoMA Library.
Artist and Publisher: Printmaking and the Collaborative Process
MoMA hosts two conversations between publishers and artists featured in the exhibition Print/Out and Printin’ as they discuss their creative practice and the process of collaboration. Christophe Cherix, The Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Chief Curator of Prints and Illustrated Books and organizer of Print/Out, moderates.
Thursday, February 16, 6:00 p.m., The Celeste Bartos Theater
Artist Ellen Gallagher in conversation with publishers and printers at Two Palms Press.
Tuesday, February 28, 6:00 p.m., The Celeste Bartos Theater
Artist Marina Abramović in conversation with Los Angeles publisher/printer Edition Jacob Samuel.
Tickets ($10, $8 members and corporate members, $5 students, seniors and staff of other museums) are available online, at the information desk in the main lobby, and at the film desk after 4:00 p.m. Any remaining tickets may be picked up one hour before the start of the program at the Education and Research Building ticketing desk.
January 23 to March 9, 2012
Open daily, Wednesday to Monday, 12:00–4:00 p.m.
Mezzanine Level, The Lewis B. and Dorothy Cullman Education and Research Building
Print Studio is an interactive space that explores the evolution of artistic practices relating to the medium of print. The Studio offers a series of free drop-in workshops, lectures, and events that emphasize accessible and sustainable models for the production and dissemination of ideas. See separate press release for complete details and schedule or visit MoMA.org/PrintStudio. Print Studio is made possible by a partnership with Volkswagen of America.
A fully illustrated publication accompanies the exhibition and includes essays and interviews by Mr. Cherix, Ms. Suzuki, and Ms. Conaty. Print/Out: 20 Years in Print features focused sections on 10 artists and publishers—Ai Weiwei, Ellen Gallagher, Martin Kippenberger, Lucy McKenzie, Aleksandra Mir, museum in progress, Edition Jacob Samuel, SUPERFLEX, Robert Rauschenberg, and Rirkrit Tiravanija—as well as rich illustrations of printed projects from the last two decades by major artists such as Trisha Donnelly, Felix Gonzalez-Torres, Thomas Schütte, and Kelley Walker. 236 pages, 585 illustrations. Paperback, $50. Available at the MoMA Stores and online at MoMAStore.org. Distributed to the trade through ARTBOOK | D.A.P. in the United States and Canada, and through Thames & Hudson outside North America.
Image: Pae White (American, born 1963). My Melody from Untitled. 1999. One from a portfolio of six screenprints, 35 15/16 x 24″ (91.3 x 61cm). Publisher: 1301PE, Los Angeles. Printer: Wasserman Silkscreen, Santa Monica. Edition: 20. The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Howard Johnson Fund, 2001. © 2012 Pae White
Paul Jackson, (212) 708-9593, firstname.lastname@example.org
Margaret Doyle, (212) 408-6400, email@example.com
Press Preview: Tuesday, February 14, 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
The Museum of Modern Art MoMA
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