This exhibition celebrates the pivotal role that women have played in contemporary American printmaking. In addition to pioneering artists like Helen Frankenthaler, Lee Krasner, Joan Mitchell, and Anni Albers who often worked in the print medium, women also founded some of the most important print studios in the United States. The printmaking process is an intensely collaborative one, between artist and printer. It is also a highly physical process, requiring strength, stamina, and technical prowess-Marks Made tells the story of what happens in the studio and the resulting artworks.
Conveying the breadth of innovation of both technique and conceptual approaches that have emerged in printmaking over the past 50 years, Marks Made makes no generalizations about women's approach to artmaking. Themes of abstraction, realism, craft, appropriation strategies, activism, and the translation of one's primary medium to printmaking will all be explored in this expansive exhibition featuring over 75 works.
The Museum has built an extensive collection of prints by American women including works by Vija Celmins, Janet Fish, Helen Frankenthaler, Ellen Gallagher, Yvonne Jacquette, Joyce Kozloff, Lee Krasner, Barbara Kruger, Hung Liu, Joan Mitchell, Elizabeth Murray, Judy Pfaff, Susan Rothenberg, and Pat Steir. Museum supporters Martha and Jim Sweeny have been dedicated to increasing awareness of the role of women in contemporary printmaking, and have made invaluable contributions to this collection, which is augmented by select loans for the exhibition. Two limited edition prints by artists Elisabeth Condon and Jane Hammond have been created in collaboration with the University of South Florida, St. Petersburg and Bleu Acier Editions to celebrate both the exhibition and the Museum's 50thAnniversary, and will be available for pre-orders in the summer of 2015.