Under Pressure: Contemporary Prints from the Collections of Jordan D. Schnitzer and his Family Foundation

Under Pressure: Contemporary Prints from the Collections of Jordan D. Schnitzer and his Family Foundation

January 24, 2015 to March 29, 2015

Until the 1940s, most American artists viewed prints as an inferior medium, practiced by those who were concerned solely with the technical aspect of making art rather than with the importance of creative expression. Yet over the next two decades, bolstered by the adventurous spirit of experimentation championed by artists such as Jasper Johns, Robert Rauschenberg, and Helen Frankenthaler, printmaking became one of the most dynamic fields in contemporary art. During the 1950s and 1960s, independent print workshops, such ULAE (United Limited Art Editions) on Long Island and Gemini G.E.L. (Graphic Editions Limited) in Los Angeles, started opening their doors. Staffed with highly-skilled technicians, these studios supplied artists with the equipment, space, and expertise they needed to push the limits of printmaking. Welcoming the opportunity to expand their practices, artists transformed print workshops into laboratories where media and techniques intertwined and a new visual language emerged.

Reflecting on the process of printmaking, Jasper Johns once commented, “The process of printmaking allows you to do things that make your mind work in a different way than, say, painting with a brush does…things which are necessary to printmaking become interesting in themselves and can be used in painting where they’re not necessary but become like ideas.” Recognizing that prints are a natural extension of their existing practices, many of the artists featured in Under Pressure who are still making work today have followed Johns’ lead in moving fluidly among media.

Jordan Schnitzer’s expansive collection includes prints from the 1960s to the twenty-first century. Featured artists include Radcliffe Bailey, John Baldessari, Jennifer Bartlett, Robert Bechtle, Mark Bennett, Vija Celmins, Enrique Chagoya, Chuck Close, Richard Diebenkorn, Richard Estes, Joe Feddersen, Eric Fischl, Helen Frankenthaler, Ellen Gallagher, Red Grooms, Damien Hirst, Robert Indiana, Jasper Johns, Donald Judd, Alex Katz, Barbara Kruger, Sol LeWitt, Roy Lichtenstein, Hung Liu, Brice Marden, Kerry James Marshall, Sarah Morris, Judy Pfaff, Martin Puryear, Robert Rauschenberg, Edward Ruscha, Richard Serra, Roger Shimomura, Lorna Simpson, Kiki Smith, Donald Sultan, Fred Tomaselli, Kara Walker, Andy Warhol and Terry Winters.

Support for the exhibition and related educational and outreach programs has been made possible by a grant from the Jordan Schnitzer Family Foundation.  Additional support for the exhibition is provided by the Coeta and Donald Barker Changing Exhibitions Endowment, The Harold and Arlene Schnitzer CARE Foundation, a grant from the Oregon Arts Commission and the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency, and JSMA members.