Calculation and Impulse: Abstract American Prints

Mexican Night II by Robert Motherwell
Sep 01, 2007 - Feb 03, 2008
Eisenberg Gallery

Maximizing printmaking’s potential, many contemporary American artists create powerful, non-representational images in prints which convey either calculation or impulse. Precise delineation and deliberate placement of line, shape, and color often result in geometric constructions or minimalist grids, while impulse appears to motivate artists to abstract expressionism, painterly gesture, improvisational markings, irregular compositions, or biomorphic forms. Featuring more than fifty prints, this exhibition contrasts structured compositions of hard-edged geometric shapes, parallel rows, or precise, linear grids with other prints emphasizing grand, gestural strokes or seemingly haphazard spots of color. Such images evoke the vast universe of artistic imagination while also celebrating the vital collaboration between artists and master printers.

The exhibition features prints by abstract artist pioneers Sam Francis, Helen Frankenthaler, and Robert Motherwell, as well as minimalist Donald Judd. Also featured are prints by Robert Mangold, Elizabeth Murray, Tom Nozkowski, and others selected from the Rutgers Archives for Printmaking Studios (RAPS), a major collection documenting artistic and technical trends in contemporary American printmaking as exemplified by the ongoing production of such printmaking studios as The Brodsky Center, K. Caraccio Etching Studios, Derrière l’Etoile, Echo Press, Catherine Mosley Studios, Solo Impression Inc., and VanDeb Editions.

Robert Motherwell

Mexican Night II, not dated

Etching and aquatint

Collection Zimmerli Art Museum at Rutgers

Gift of Catherine Mosley

Art © Dedalus Foundation, Inc.

Licensed by VAGA, New York