In an era of modern and postmodern art that is often concerned with expressing its essential qualities of flatness and depthlessness, some artists engaged in making prints at fine arts presses have headed in a different direction. Rather than embrace the smooth, flat finish that can be achieved through print processes like screenprinting and lithography, these artists have manipulated the dimensionality of their works on paper, literally pushing their paper surfaces to new heights. Though their approaches vary, all of the artists included in this exhibition challenge the traditional belief that editions on paper are merely made up of layers of ink impressed upon paper.
The works on view demonstrate some of the ways in which the print can be viewed as a form of bas-relief and sculpture, from the inkless embossing of Josef Albers to the work of artists like Ann Hamilton and Frank Stella who literally stretch their paper surfaces into the round. In some cases, the paper is the print, as in the handmade, artist-pigmented papers of Kenneth Noland and Robert Rauschenberg. Joe Goode’s lithographs with razor-cuts add further dimension to this study of the contemporary print and its surface.