EUGENE, Ore. – (December 9, 2014) – Under Pressure: Contemporary Prints from the Collections of Jordan D. Schnitzer and his Family Foundation features work by forty artists spanning the last five decades. On view at the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art on the University of Oregoncampus from January 24 to March 29, 2015, the exhibition opens with a free, public reception on January 23 from 6-8 p.m.
Under Pressure traces printmaking’s rise to prominence in postwar American art and reveals the diverse ways artists have adopted, embraced, and transformed this versatile medium over the last five decades. On Saturday, January 24 at 11 a.m., Jordan Schnitzer will lead a special tour of the exhibition.
“We are thrilled to share Under Pressure with our visitors,” says JSMA executive director Jill Hartz. “Thanks to Jordan Schnitzer’s focused collecting and connoisseurship, this selection is truly representative of the extraordinary quality and range of media and expression possible in the printmaking field. As always, we’ll be embedding the show in K-12 and university academic curricula as well as offering educational programs for the general public that offer insights into printmaking techniques and more.”
Under Pressure considers major currents in contemporary art, among them Abstract Expressionism, Minimalism, Photorealism, and Pop Art. It explores innovations specific to printmaking, including recent advancements in technology that have reinvigorated the print’s role in art production. The works on view address diverse themes, from feminism and civil rights to the use of art as social critique.
Featured artists include Radcliffe Bailey, John Baldessari, Jennifer Bartlett, Robert Bechtle, Mark Bennett, Vija Celmins, Enrique Chagoya, Chuck Close, Richard Diebenkorn, Richard Estes, Joe Feddersen, Eric Fischl, Helen Frankenthaler, Ellen Gallagher, Red Grooms, Damien Hirst, Robert Indiana, Jasper Johns, Donald Judd, Alex Katz, Barbara Kruger, Sol LeWitt, Roy Lichtenstein, Hung Liu, Brice Marden, Kerry James Marshall, Sarah Morris, Judy Pfaff, Martin Puryear, Robert Rauschenberg, Edward Ruscha, Richard Serra, Roger Shimomura, Lorna Simpson, Kiki Smith, Donald Sultan, Fred Tomaselli, Kara Walker, and Terry Winters.
“The forty artists represented in this exhibition are the most important artists of last half of the 20th century. They are the artists of our time and their art makes us smile, laugh, and cry,” said Jordan D. Schnitzer.
Until the 1940s, most American artists viewed prints as an inferior medium, practiced by those who were concerned solely with the technical aspect of making art rather than with the importance of creative expression. Yet over the next two decades, bolstered by the adventurous spirit of experimentation championed by artists such as Jasper Johns, Robert Rauschenberg, and Helen Frankenthaler, printmaking became one of the most dynamic fields in contemporary art.
During the 1950s and 1960s, independent print workshops, such ULAE (United Limited Art Editions) on Long Island and Gemini G.E.L. (Graphic Editions Limited) in Los Angeles, started opening their doors. Staffed with highly-skilled technicians, these studios supplied artists with the equipment, space, and expertise they needed to push the limits of printmaking. Welcoming the opportunity to expand their practices, artists transformed print workshops into laboratories where media and techniques intertwined and a new visual language emerged.
The selection of work in Under Pressure comes from the extensive holdings of collector and University of Oregon alumnus Jordan Schnitzer and was organized by the Joslyn Art Museum in Omaha, Nebraska. Support for the exhibition and related educational and outreach programs has been made possible by a grant from the Jordan Schnitzer Family Foundation, the Coeta and Donald Barker Changing Exhibitions Endowment, The Harold and Arlene Schnitzer CARE Foundation, the Oregon Arts Commission and the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency, and JSMA members.
About the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art
The University of Oregon’s Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art is a premier Pacific Northwest museum for exhibitions and collections of historic and contemporary art based in a major university setting. The mission of the museum is to enhance the University of Oregon’s academic mission and to further the appreciation and enjoyment of the visual arts for the general public. The JSMA features significant collections galleries devoted to art from China, Japan, Korea, America and elsewhere as well as changing special exhibition galleries. The JSMA is one of six museums in Oregon accredited by the American Association of Museums.
The Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art is located on the University of Oregon campus at 1430 Johnson Lane. Museum hours are 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Wednesdays, and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays through Sundays. Admission is $5 for adults and $3 for senior citizens. Free admission is given to ages 18 and under, JSMA members, college students with ID, and University of Oregon faculty, staff and students. For information, contact the JSMA, 541-346-3027.
About the Jordan Schnitzer Family Foundation (JSFF)
Jordan D. Schnitzer purchased his first work of art when he was fourteen years old from his mother, Arlene Schnitzer, who started the first contemporary art gallery in Portland, Oregon, the Fountain Gallery. It was through her and her gallery that his initial acquisition of one painting turned into a lifelong pursuit of being an art patron. Jordan began buying contemporary prints and multiples in earnest in 1988. As the collection grew, so did inquiries from museums wishing to buy prints for exhibitions. The public nature of these initial exhibitions sparked a passion for sharing the collection that is the basis of the Jordan Schnitzer Family Foundation and Lending Program. The Jordan Schnitzer Family Foundation makes its collections of post-war works of art available to museums at no cost. In addition, it also provides funds for education and community outreach programs. To learn more about JSFF, contact: Catherine Malone, Collection Manager, (503) 973-0267, firstname.lastname@example.org
About the University of Oregon
The University of Oregon is among the 108 institutions chosen from 4,633 U.S. universities for top-tier designation of “Very High Research Activity” in the 2010 Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education. The UO also is one of two Pacific Northwest members of the Association of American Universities.