Pace Prints is pleased to present Prints from the Marron Collection at our 521 West 26th Street, 3rd Floor gallery, on view February 26 — April 3, 2021. Concurrently with the exhibitions, a selection of works will be presented in our Online Viewing Room.
Donald Marron (1934–2019) was one of the 20th and 21st centuries' most passionate and erudite collectors, a pioneer of corporate collections, a family man, and a dedicated philanthropist. Over the course of six decades, Marron acquired over 300 modern and contemporary masterworks.
In 2020, Acquavella Galleries, Gagosian, and Pace Gallery joined with the Marron family to handle the sale of the Donald B. Marron Family Collection in a series of exhibitions at the three galleries. Pace Prints is honored to be presenting Marron’s remarkable prints, which highlight not only the importance of printmaking in the practices of the artists whom he collected, but also the role that prints play in building and expanding a comprehensive art collection. In 2021, Phaidon Press will publish a scholarly volume to illuminate Marron’s collection and celebrate his legacy.
The focus of the exhibition are the works of three iconic artists — Lucian Freud, Jasper Johns, and Ed Ruscha — who used printmaking throughout their careers to explore and further their distinct, innovative visions. Complementing these titans of their generation are works by gifted and inventive printmakers Julian Opie, Elizabeth Peyton, and Stanley Whitney. All created since 2000, the works on view illuminate the vitality of printmaking in contemporary art.
Lucian Freud (1922–2011), arguably the greatest portraitist of the 20th Century, was dedicated to the practice of creating etchings in much the same way he created his paintings, using a sitter or setting for weeks or months on end. Solicitor’s Head (2003) and New Yorker (2006) portray friends who became regular subjects that the artist imposed upon for these laborious projects. Freud’s insightful gaze translates into visceral and emotional images, both in these portraits and in the landscape works also on view.
Jasper Johns (b.1930) made his first print, a target, in 1960, and has made more than 400 editions since, seven of which are shown in this exhibition. Bushbaby (2004) which uses a harlequin diamond pattern throughout, features a trompe-l’œil representation of wooden straightedges, which can be seen affixed as a sculptural element to the painting of the same name. Across these prints, the flag, art-making tools, and thinly-veiled art historical content flood this group of prints with meaning, without betraying a singular narrative.
Ed Ruscha (b.1937) is represented in this exhibition with two works that exemplify the broad themes of his career: Ghost Station (2011) and History Kids (2013). Ghost Station reprises the Standard Oil Station, a subject of many early works by the artist, as an inkless, embossed image, the iconic architecture now only faintly visible in its outlines. In History Kids, text hovers over a snowy mountain peak, a theme evocative of Hollywood and cinema that became prevalent in his printing practice in the early 2010s. Ruscha’s use of text as subject has dominated a sixty-year long career, allowing a phrase or word to take visual dominance over the entire image.