Exhibit looks at the artist, printmaker relationship - Albuquerque Journal

Exhibit looks at the artist, printmaker relationship

“Profile in Blue,” Ron Adams (artist), Michael Costello and David Panosh (printers), 1989, 6 color lithograph on Arches white cover paper. (Courtesy of the Albuquerque Museum)

During the 1960s and 1970s, a cascade of artists and printers coalesced in New Mexico, driven by the urge to place carved lines on paper.

“The Printer’s Proof: Artist and Printer Collaborators” explores that process at the Albuquerque Museum through May 15.

The show focuses on printers based in New Mexico. These artists orbited around Albuquerque and Santa Fe through the Tamarind Institute and centers such as Lynch Pin Press and Hand Graphics.

The exhibition features works by more than 120 artists with prints spanning from the 1970s to the present.

The artists include Donald Judd, Harmony Hammond, Nick Cave, Jim Dine, Susan Rothenberg, Hung Liu, Nicola López, Luis Tapia and many more. The techniques displayed range from lithography, monoprints, etchings and block printing to photogravure.

“I wanted to tell the story of printmaking here in New Mexico,” Albuquerque Museum Curator Josie Lopez said. “Around the ’60s and ’70s there was all this energy around printmaking.”

Printmaking is a collaborative process. Its technical nature usually demands the help of a skilled printer.

“It’s very difficult to do, especially lithography, even monotypes,” said master printer Michael Costello, owner of Santa Fe’s Hand Graphics. “The depth of knowledge you need to etch a stone is very extensive. A print shop has very specialized tools – big presses, rollers, floor space.

“To make a lithograph you have to be able to break down colors in your mind,” he added. “That’s not simple.”

Lopez visited each printer’s studio to learn about their different materials, approaches and techniques. Master printers represent decades of experience. Each occupies his or her own section of the exhibition. Other segments address color and light, storytelling and visual experimentation.

The gallery was not found!

The late Ron Adams’ “Profile in Blue” (1989) is an ode to printmaking. The six-color lithograph pairs him with Costello and David Panosh. The self-portrait shows the artist showered in sunbeams, surrounded all of his printmaking tools, including a lithographic press and roller.

“Ron did the drawing,” Costello said. “He would do sketches on paper, then you would translate that to the stone and then onto every plate. So you have five different runs; five different colors and they all have to line up and be registered exactly. We built up the print layer by layer by layer.”

Santa Fe’s Dan Namingha produced the lithograph “From Polacco,” in 1991 with the help of Tamarind Institute printer Steve Britko.

“What I love is the exploration and intensity of the color,” Lopez said. “He brings that rich color to abstract a landscape.”

Ken Price’s 2003 “Unreported Sighting” shows flying saucers soaring over a mountainscape. Jennifer Lynch was the printer on the photo polymer etching.

“That really shows you how the artist and printer are experimenting with techniques they had to have to create these little circles,” Lopez said.

The late Marfa, Texas, artist Donald Judd had completed the designs for his “Untitled” exploration of geometry and line just before his 1994 death. Tamarind master printer Robert Arber gained permission from Judd’s estate to complete the project in 2020.

University of New Mexico professor Karsten Creightney created his lithograph “Dot Flower I” (2015) with Costello. The pair produced flower petals like the Ben-Day dots famous in comic books and appropriated by the Pop artist Roy Lichtenstein.

“The dots were done with plates,” Costello said. “Karsten made transparencies and we shot them on photo-litho plates. He drew directly on the litho stone. We had a number of plates for the colors. His aesthetic is to use more dots.”

When an artist pulls the first print off the press, he or she usually gives it to the printer; hence the term “printer’s proof.”

“It signifies the relationship between the artist and the printer,” Lopez said. “We really wanted to bring that out,” Lopez said.

Home » Entertainment » Arts » Exhibit looks at the artist, printmaker relationship

Insert Question Legislature form in Legis only stories

Albuquerque Journal and its reporters are committed to telling the stories of our community.

• Do you have a question you want someone to try to answer for you? Do you have a bright spot you want to share?
   We want to hear from you. Please email yourstory@abqjournal.com

taboola desktop

ABQjournal can get you answers in all pages


Questions about the Legislature?
Albuquerque Journal can get you answers
Email addresses are used solely for verification and to speed the verification process for repeat questioners.
'The Lost Archive' a collection of enjoyable realistic, historical ...
ABQnews Seeker
These 22 short stories, some previously ... These 22 short stories, some previously published, demonstrates writing that is crisp, smart, accessible and engaging.
PBS documentary looks at the life of solar power ...
ABQnews Seeker
"The Sun Queen" airs at 8 ... "The Sun Queen" airs at 8 p.m. Tuesday, April 4, on New Mexico PBS, channel 5.1, and is broadcast under the American Experience series. ...
Canna fairly easy to grow, come in wide varieties
ABQnews Seeker
The canna will want soil that ... The canna will want soil that can retain some moisture, but won't do too well if sitting in a puddle either.
New Mexico Photographic Art Show brings 188 works to ...
ABQnews Seeker
The 14th annual New Mexico Photographic ... The 14th annual New Mexico Photographic Art Show runs through April 18, in the Fine Arts Building at Expo New Mexico with work by ...
'Important Works on Paper' covers the span of Picasso's ...
ABQnews Seeker
Santa Fe's LewAllen Galleries is showcasing ... Santa Fe's LewAllen Galleries is showcasing Pablo Picasso's prints in "Celebrating Picasso's Legacy: Important Works on Paper" through May 6.
New Mexico author Melody Groves wins Spur Award with ...
ABQnews Seeker
Melody Groves has written 13 books. ... Melody Groves has written 13 books. One of the most recent, "Before Billy the Kid," received a Spur Award for biography.
Poet Pat Mora to deliver New Mexico Writers dinner ...
ABQnews Seeker
On April 6, the fifth annual ... On April 6, the fifth annual New Mexico Writers dinner will once again celebrate the immense talent, established and aspiring, that reside in the ...
$4 million proposed for a new Unser Museum
ABQnews Seeker
Museum allocations are a point of ... Museum allocations are a point of contention as Albuquerque leaders wrangle over how to spend $200M in expected infrastructure money
NMMNHS exhibit showcases the world of microscopic photography
ABQnews Seeker
The New Mexico Museum of Natural ... The New Mexico Museum of Natural History & Science is presenting the premier celebration of microscopic photography, as "Nikon Small World" runs through April ...