Gary Lichtenstein: 35 Years of Screenprinting at The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum
June 27, 2010, to January 8, 2011
Master printer and Connecticut native Gary Lichtenstein has collaborated with over ninety artists during the course of his thirty-five-year career. This exhibition brought together forty-eight screenprints from the over eight hundred he has created, focusing on works made since 2004.
Lichtenstein’s role as an artist in his own right has brought an innovative perspective to his craft. His innate ability as a colorist, together with his belief in spontaneity and acceptance of what others would consider accidents or mistakes, has defined his studio. Multiple trial proofs and color variations are the norm, and Lichtenstein has no concern about how many screens it will take to successfully resolve an image. It is not unusual for a print from his studio to have fifteen or twenty colors, and there are examples of prints with forty or more. In the past decade, Lichtenstein has also begun to experiment with unique, large-scale screenprints on canvas, blurring the boundary between painting and printmaking.
Installed in the center of the gallery was a print-drying rack that contained one-of-a-kind printer’s proofs, working proofs, and other examples of materials from Lichtenstein’s studio that reveal the experimental nature of his process. The exhibition also included a video made by Lichtenstein’s longtime friend, filmmaker Elliot Caplan. Filmed during the production of one of Robert Indiana’s Hope prints, it wonderfully captures both the personality of the printer and his process.