Thinking Print:
Books to Billboards 1980-95

Henry Art Gallery, Seattle
February 19 - May 3

General Idea, Aids (1988),
screen print

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.

© Ted Lindberg