Prints are designed to circulate and reach wide audiences; they are to painting and sculpture what the Internet is to the book or printed newspaper. They are capable of being a fundamentally disruptive medium, wrote the Washington Post. On view at the Dallas Museum of Art
and remaining on view through September 3, Visions of America: Three Centuries of American Prints from the National Gallery of Art presents an exploration of more than 150 outstanding prints, featuring more than 100 notable artists from Paul Revere to John James Audubon, and from Andy Warhol to the Guerrilla Girls.
The exhibition, organized by the National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC, is the first major museum survey of American prints in more than 30 years. The DMA is the final venue of a four-city international tour for this remarkable exhibition that critics have described as historically riveting . . . full of the drama of American life and history. Organized chronologically and thematically, Visions of America features works by artists such as James McNeill Whistler, Mary Cassatt, Winslow Homer, George Bellows, John Marin, Jackson Pollock, Louise Nevelson, Romare Bearden, Robert Rauschenberg, Chuck Close, Jenny Holzer, and Kara Walker.
Visions of America tells the story of America from both internal and external views, said Agustín Arteaga, The Eugene McDermott Director at the DMA. From colonial times to the modern age, the exhibition takes a fresh look at the major movements in American art with a truthful approach.
Not only is Visions of America an examination of the societies and topography of the new world, it is also an unapologetic survey of the events that shaped the modern United States. From coast to coast, the exhibition invites visitors to imagine North America through the eyes of curious European outsiders, zealous young settlers, clandestine feminists, and boundary breakers. While some prints evoke a world perceived as new and strange, others present an image of utopic equality, or radicalism.
Prints have often been a forum for social commentary and criticism as they are well suited to swiftly convey images of current events to a broad audience. Visions of America follows in this style by including works from across the centuries that aim to raise awareness and inspire change. On view, for instance, is an engraving of the Boston Massacre by Paul Revere as well as a broadside from more than two hundred years later by the undercover feminist collective known as the Guerrilla Girls.
The dichotomy between prints intended to provoke change and ones more weighted to visual concerns is no mistake, said Sue Canterbury, the DMAs Pauline Gill Sullivan Associate Curator of American Art. It is an undercurrent of both the exhibition and the history of American prints.
Accompanying the exhibition is a fully illustrated 360-page hardcover scholarly catalogue published by the National Gallery of Art, Washington, with insightful essays, biographies of the artists, and a glossary of printmaking terms.
The Museum will celebrate Visions of America during the June Late Night on Friday, June 16, with an evening of performances, talks, tours, and more. Additional programs, including gallery talks, lectures, workshops, and programming for families, teens, and teachers will be scheduled throughout the run of the exhibition.
Visions of America: Three Centuries of American Prints from the National Gallery of Art is organized by the National Gallery of Art, Washington. The exhibition was curated by Amy Johnston and Judith Brodie, both of the National Gallery of Art, and locally presented by Sue Canterbury, The Pauline Gill Sullivan Associate Curator of American Art, DMA.