A new exhibition opening September 5 at the Utah Museum of Fine Arts (UMFA) traces printmaking’s rise to prominence as one of the most dynamic fields in postwar American art.Under Pressure: Contemporary Prints from the Collections of Jordan D. Schnitzer and His Family Foundation features work from 39 iconic modern and contemporary printmakers and is a must-see for fans of contemporary art or for those who want to learn more about it.
Drawn from one of the largest contemporary print collections in the United States, Under Pressure reveals the diverse ways artists have adopted, embraced, and transformed the versatile medium of printmaking over the last five decades. The exhibition charts major developments in contemporary art, including Abstract Expressionism, Pop art, Photorealism, Minimalism, and Conceptual art, as well as innovations specific to printmaking that have reinvigorated its role in contemporary art. Featured artists include John Baldessari, Chuck Close, Helen Frankenthaler, Ellen Gallagher, Damien Hirst, Jasper Johns, Donald Judd, Barbara Kruger, Sol LeWitt, Roy Lichtenstein, Kerry James Marshall, Robert Rauschenberg, Edward Ruscha, Kiki Smith, Frank Stella, and Kara Walker, among others.
“Portland-based collector Jordan Schnitzer fell in love with contemporary art as a boy and travels his collection today with the hope of inspiring that feeling in others,” says Whitney Tassie, the UMFA’s curator of modern and contemporary art. “His passion and excitement are palpable in this incredible selection of works by major artists. An exhibition like this, that provides such an excellent overview of themes and trends of modern and contemporary art, is rare and shouldn’t be missed.”
Printmaking—creating multiples of a single image by transferring ink from a printing element onto paper or other material—has been described as the most democratic art form. Throughout history artists have used printmaking processes to disseminate their work to a larger audience with limited opportunities to own or see a unique masterpiece. But about 50 years ago, printmaking came into its own as an independently important creative medium, thanks to the adventurous experimentation of artists such as Johns, Rauschenberg, and Frankenthaler. Schnitzer’s exemplary gathering of contemporary prints, informed by his careful and passionate eye, offers an incomparable narrative of the evolution of this fluid and captivating medium.
Schnitzer, in discussion with Tassie, will talk about his experiences as a collector and some of the works in the exhibition on Saturday, September 7, at the UMFA. The talk and reception to follow are free and open to the public. Under Pressure: Contemporary Prints from the Collections of Jordan D. Schnitzer and His Family Foundation will be on view through January 5, 2014. The exhibition was organized for tour by Omaha’s Joslyn Art Museum and the Jordan Schnitzer Family Foundation and has been on view at the Wichita Art Museum. It will be on display at the Missoula Art Museum in spring 2014.
Support for the exhibition and related educational and outreach programs has been made possible by a grant from the Jordan Schnitzer Family Foundation. Support has also been provided by the George S. and Dolores Doré Eccles Foundation and Salt Lake County Zoo, Arts and Parks Program (ZAP).
FREE PUBLIC PROGRAMMING
Under Pressure: Contemporary Prints from the Collections of Jordan D. Schnitzer and His Family Foundation
Opening Celebration | Saturday, September 7
FREE Public Talk by collector Jordan D. Schnitzer | 6 pm
FREE Community Celebration | 7 pm
Collector Jordan D. Schnitzer will talk about his experiences as a collector and some of the works on display in Under Pressure, which are drawn from his highly respected and comprehensive collection of contemporary prints.
The Utah Museum of Fine Arts is located on the University of Utah campus in the Marcia and John Price Museum Building at 410 Campus Center Drive. The UMFA’s mission is to inspire critical dialogue and illuminate the role of art in our lives. General admission is $7 adults, $5 youth and seniors, FREE for U of U students/staff/faculty, UMFA members, higher education students in Utah, and children under six years old. Thanks to the Salt Lake County Zoo, Arts, and Parks Program, free admission offered the first Wednesday and third Saturday of each month. Museum hours are Tuesday – Friday: 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.; Wednesdays 10 a.m. – 8 p.m.; Weekends, 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.; closed Mondays and holidays. For more information call (801) 581-7332 or visit www.umfa.utah.edu.