Pace Prints is pleased to announce Collaborations, an exhibition of prints and multiples spanning five decades, which showcase Pace Editions’ history as a leading publisher of contemporary prints and recognizes the artists whose work established its reputation for technical ambition and continued aesthetic sensibility. Collaborations will be on view April 15 – May 21, 2022, in our 3rd and 4th floor galleries at 521 West 26th Street.
Pace Editions was founded in 1968 as a facility for artists to realize ambitious, unconventional editions beyond traditional printmaking techniques. The exhibition spans chronologically across both gallery floors and turns to Pace Editions’ beginnings with the visionary and innovative work of Larry Bell, Alfred Jensen, Sven Lukin, Lucas Samaras, Ernest Trova and Jack Youngerman from the late 1960s and early ’70s. The presentation continues with a selection of editions executed through the end of the century by prominent post-war and contemporary artists including John Chamberlain, Sol LeWitt and Louise Nevelson. Collaborations culminates with projects created in the 21st Century by artists, such as Helen Frankenthaler, Robert Mangold and Kenneth Noland, whose mature visions found ideal collaborators in Pace Edition’s master printmakers.
Sven Lukin’s portfolio of eight silkscreens vibrantly bring the year 1969 to our present with a playful tension between hard-edged forms and soft colors, while Alfred Jensen’s strict, mathematically-based compositions in his 1973 portfolio of four underline the variety in geometric abstraction. Ernest Trova’s Series Seventy-Five portfolio of four (1975) intersects that movement with the introduction of the stylized figure as graphic element. Complimenting Larry Bell’s Lux III (1971), a minimal sculptural form in black and white with mirrored and transparent planes, are Lucas Samaras’ Hook and Ribbon (1972). This pair of silkscreens ventures away from the geometrical strictures of its predecessors with a more exploratory, facetious formalism.
Jumping forward to the 1990s, John Chamberlain’s prolific career as a sculptor lent itself to experimentation in etching for his set of nine titled, Alphabet Series II. The etched lines are simultaneously subtle in color yet bold in expression. Expanding on the Ukiyo-e style woodcut first referenced in Jack Youngerman’s Untitled portfolio of four (1976), Helen Frankenthaler’s Japanese Maple (2009) contrasts Chamberlain and Youngerman with its deep maroon gradations across a striated plane. Robert Mangold’s soft-ground etchings Double Square Frame I & II (2015)read as a combination of geometric and expressionistic abstractions with etched figure-eight shapes around respective circles and squares floating in a painterly yellow and red.
The work of these twelve pioneering artists embodies the invention, exploration, and collaboration inherent to printmaking, as well as Pace Editions’ mission to enable their visions and carry this tradition to present and future generations.