Books to Billboards 1980-95
Henry Art Gallery, Seattle
February 19 - May
General Idea, Aids (1988),
IN A PROVOCATIVE EXHIBITION organized by The Museum of
Modern Art, Thinking Print explores the past
decade-and-a-half of printed art including new forms and
innovations in techniques and print methods; social and
political commentary and advocacy; the complex role of
language in visual representation and the impact of
photography and media. Over 200 works by approximately 150
American, Canadian and European artists encourage the
expansion and re-definition of print-based art today.
The first section of Thinking Print, "New Printmakers,"
includes works by such artists as Barbara Kruger, Francesco
Clemente, Jenny Holzer and Jean-Charles Blais and juxtaposed
with traditional prints made with long-established
techniques and commercial forms (advertisements, CD covers
or baseball caps), to create new artworks.
In a Section on "Techniques and Formats," the process is
shown to be as important as the result. The potential of
printmaking lies at the heart of this segment, and the
viewer, sees the full range of methods available to
contemporary artists. Lucian Freud's Large Head illustrates
the responsiveness of etching for the experienced draftsman.
A third section deals specifically with "Social and
Political Issues." Language, and its importance as
propaganda, is explored in a confron-tational Guerrilla
Girls poster, which addresses sexism in the artworld. Robert
Indiana's famous "LOVE" painting is reinvented for the
decade in the word "AIDS" to create blue and green wallpaper
by Toronto's General Idea.