Printmaking is taking over the Museum of Contemporary Art Jacksonville
, a cultural institute of the University of North Florida. Two floors display the art of printmaking, including two featured exhibitions, the UNF Gallery at MOCA, and the Permanent Collection.
Time Zones: James Rosenquist and Printmaking at the Millennium is MOCA Jacksonvilles self-curated exhibition running February 13 through May 15 on the second floor.
Rosenquist, a pioneering Pop artist who first earned his living as a billboard painter, came of age in the booming economy of post-World War II America. Finding his subject matter in the detritus of consumer culture and the remnants of everyday images, his idiosyncratic visual language is one saturated in the American vernacular. Rosenquists imagery is dense, compacted, eccentric, and often hard to decipher. His implausible juxtapositions, strident DayGlo colors, and seemingly discordant couplings often bombard the viewer.
For an artist whose career has spanned more than seven decades, time is an apt topic. With the Deutsche Guggenheim project The Swimmer in the Econo-mist as a touchstone, Time Zones traces this evolution and exchange of ideas and motifs across media into the present day. Although Rosenquist will deny any chronology or linear narratives in his work, The Swimmer in the Econo-mist is a history painting of our timea summation of the past and one steeped in optimism for the future. At the intersection of two centuries, this series afforded the artist the opportunity to reflect back upon the twentieth century while looking forward into the twenty-first. Time Zones examines Rosenquists late careerfrom his visual inventions to innovations in painting and printmakingand its continuing impact.
In Living Color: Andy Warhol and Contemporary Printmaking from the Collections of Jordan D. Schnitzer and His Family Foundation takes over the third floor. Organized by the Joslyn Art Museum in Omaha, Nebraska, the exhibition opens February 13 and runs through May 15.
Andy Warhol (1928-1987) depicted the world with the volume turned up. Employing a seemingly endless palette, his work has challenged our perceptions of popular culture, politics, and consumerism for more than fifty years. Warhol was the central figure of American Pop Art, a genre that emerged in the late 1950s in reaction to the heroism of Abstract Expressionism. For Pop artists, social and political turbulence coupled with unprecedented consumerism meant that art was no longer about the persona of the heroic individual artist, as it had been in the years immediately following World War II. Warhol and his contemporaries sought to eradicate the notion of the genius artist and downplay the role of originality in art, adopting mechanical means of generating images, such as screen-printing, which theoretically allowed for an endless production of images. In drawing inspiration from the rapidly changing world around them, Pop artists sought to be more inclusive in their subjects, and more aware of the day-to-day conditions of contemporary existence.
Spanning three decades of Warhols career, this exhibition features some of the artists most iconic screen prints, including his portraits of Marilyn Monroe and Mao Zedong, the splashy camouflage series, and the controversial Electric Chair portfolio. Drawn exclusively from the rich collections of Jordan Schnitzer and his Family Foundation, In Living Color is divided into five sectionsexperimentation, emotion, experience, subversion, and attitude. In each, Warhols work is placed in conversation with other artists of the postwar era who use color as a tool to shape how we interpret and respond to images.
The Other: Nurturing a New Ecology in Printmaking features twenty-three women who expand the definition of printmaking in the UNF Gallery at MOCA. The exhibition runs January 23 through April 10. Printmaking is, by its nature, a fecund artistic environment. In 1960, it was a womanJune Wayne, the founder of Tamarind Institute (from which so many of these works are graciously on loan)who went so far as to call it an ecology. Women, many of them unsung, have been printmaking pioneers, exploring, publishing, and defining the boundaries of the medium over the decades. They push against traditional methods of production (cutting their prints by hand; pinning them to the wall). They embrace larger contents (social media, crowdsourcing). They are true to their bodies and themselves. Their means of production may be diverse, but still, as is printmakings true nature, ever democratic and accessible.
Prints from MOCA Jacksonvilles Permanent Collection are on display in the David A. Stein Family Gallery on the second floor. Works by Vito Acconci, Jim Dine, Helen Frankenthaler, David Hockney, Roy Lichtenstein, Robert Rauschenberg, Larry Rivers, and Rosenquist complement the three exhibitions.
MOCA Jacksonville collaborated with John Hutcheson, a Tamarind master printer and instructor of printmaking at UNF, to create audio guides for twelve objects throughout two floors with details about how the objects were created and Hutchesons personal stories.