14.7. - 5.11.2017

The Great Graphic Boom

American Art, 1960-1990

In cooperation with the National Museum of Oslo, the Staatsgalerie Stuttgart will present exceptional works of American graphic art of the period from 1960 to 1990.

Printmaking had previously served primarily to make religious or political content accessible to a broad public and as an important means communication in other areas as well. In the early twentieth century it was above all the German Expressionists who devoted themselves to this technique quite extensively. Decades later, in the late 1950s, the U.S. then experienced a veritable “graphic boom”.

At this point in time, the most prominent artists of the American avant-garde – exponents of Abstract Expressionism, Hard Edge, Pop Art, Minimal Art and other currents – began experimenting and working with a wide variety of printmaking techniques. Publishing companies specializing in printmaking – for example Universal Limited Art Editions (ULAE) in New York, founded by Tatyana Grosman in 1957, or GEMINI G.E.L (Graphic Editions Limited) in Los Angeles, established in 1966 – played a special role, owing above all to the high standards they set for graphic art. Individual sheets, portfolios and artists’ books were produced in great numbers. Especially the Pop artists used printmaking as a means of responding to industrial mass production and the advertising language of the media.

The majority of the artists had already made names for themselves as painters. At the same time – following in the footprints of the pioneers of modern graphic art such as Paul Gaugin, Edvard Munch and Pablo Picasso – they employed above all lithography and screen printing, but also other printmaking techniques, to arrive at individual artistic formulations.

The exhibition will feature some 170 sheets offering impressively broad insight into the styles and manifestations of American printmaking and its establishment as an independent art form.

Roy Lichtenstein, Crying Girl (Weinendes Mädchen), 1963, Staatsgalerie Stuttgart,
Graphische Sammlung © Estate of Roy Lichtenstein / VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2017
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