Pace Prints is pleased to present Titans of the ’80s, a group exhibition of prints and monoprints by George Condo, David Salle, and Julian Schnabel at 521 West 26th, 3rd floor. The exhibition will focus on this group of artists who came to international prominence in the 1980s by highlighting prints they created between 1985 and 2019. Titans of the ’80s will be on view June 3–July 2, 2021.
In the decade that brought us the rise of MTV, acid-washed jeans, and Reaganomics, these three artists became the appointed masters of the Neo-expressionist movement. These artists and their peers, mixing abstraction and figuration, subverted the glossy look of ’60s Pop and steamrolled the quiet Minimal and Conceptual movements of the 1970s.
George Condo, a painter who has grown in acclaim steadily since the 1980s, began his association with Pace Prints over 30 years ago. Nearly all of the projects by the artist in our exhibition are the result of a collaboration with the esteemed master printer Aldo Crommelynck. These etchings, specifically the set of seven Untitled works from 1989, are finely detailed portraits that refer to art historical subjects and exhibit Condo’s brilliance with expressionist form. Color and whimsy are introduced in the absurdist etching Clown. Invocations of Miles, a screenprint from 2000, highlights a period from later in Condo’s career in which a field of figures were woven together from broken, nearly abstract forms.
David Salle remains a vital voice in contemporary art, as both writer and painter. The most recent project in this group is a series of monoprints created by Salle. Over the course of several months in 2019, the artist collaborated with Pace Editions’ master printmakers on a series of unique monotypes, a process that mirrors the act of painting by allowing the artist to apply inks directly to a plate before the image is transferred to paper in the press. To Salle, creating monotypes was immediate and intuitive: painting freehand onto plates, the artist worked as though he was in his own studio, with the added tools and inherent layering capabilities of the printmaking medium. The resulting works are a series of portraits, multilayered with floral imagery and patterns.
Julian Schnabel is a multidisciplinary artist who earned as many accolades for his visual art as he has for his for his films. In 1985, Schnabel envisioned several large-scale aquatint etchings on found maps. Prison Rodeo and A Boy from Naples are bold portraits that emerge from an overwhelmingly dark field in silhouette. In 1990, a group of 3 works Gothic Run Riot, Jean’s First Trip to Versailles and Billy’s First Portrait of God by Schnabel were created using multiple print techniques. Converting photographs with photolithography and then layering etching, woodcut and screenprint processes, the artist created the same boisterous, image and text-filled plane as his works on canvas.