Jane Hammond, My Heavens!, 2004, color lithograph with silver mylar and collage on Amate paper, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of Louis M. and Sally B. Kaplan and museum purchase through the Lichtenberg Family Foundation, © 2004 Jane Hammond.

Ed Ruscha, Western Horizontal, 1986, color lithograph on paper, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of Tom and Judy Brody, © Ed Ruscha and Castelli
Graphic and Cirrus Editions, Ltd.

Kiki Smith, Banshee Pearls, 1991, 12 prints, lithograph with aluminum leaf, additions on handmade Japanese paper, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Museum purchase through the Lichtenberg Family Foundation, © 1991 Kiki Smith/ULAE.

Contemporary Large-Scale Prints in the American Art Museum Collection

R. Luke DuBois, James Buchanan / 1857-1861 and Abraham Lincoln / 1861-1865, 2 prints from the portfolio Hindsight is Always 20/20, 2008, letterpress on paper, Smithsonian American Art Museum
Museum purchase through the Luisita L. and Franz H. Denghausen Endowment, © 2008 R. Luke DuBois.

R. Luke DuBois, James Buchanan / 1857-1861 and Abraham Lincoln / 1861-1865, 2 prints from the portfolio Hindsight is Always 20/20, 2008, letterpress on paper, Smithsonian American Art Museum
Museum purchase through the Luisita L. and Franz H. Denghausen Endowment, © 2008 R. Luke DuBois.

Kara Walker, Alabama Loyalists Greeting the Federal Gun-Boats, print from the portfolio Harper’s Pictorial History of the Civil War (Annotated), 2005, offset lithograph and screenprint on paper, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Museum purchase through the Luisita L. and Franz H. Denghausen Endowment, © 2005, Kara Walker/Sikkema Jenkins & Co.

Julie Mehretu, Local Calm, 2005, color aquatint, etching, and engraving on Gampi paper chine collé, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Museum purchase through the Lichtenberg Family Foundation,
© 2005 Julie Mehretu.

Jose Bedia, Dobles, 1994, lithograph and chine collé´ on paper, Smithsonian American Art Museum
Gift of David M. Maxfield, © Jose Bedia/Vinalhaven Press.

Ross Bleckner, Just Because #2, 1997, screenprint on paper, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Museum purchase made possible by Reverend F. Ward Denys, © 1997 Ross Bleckner/Lacoca-Mulder, Inc.

John Baldessari, Black Dice, 1982, 9 prints, color aquatint, photo etching, soft-ground and lift-ground on paper, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Museum purchase, © 1982 John Baldessari/Peter Blum Edition.

Martin Puryear, Avey, print from the book Cane, 2000, woodcut on paper, Smithsonian American
Art Museum, Gift of Linda Lichtenberg, Kaplan and museum purchase through the Lichtenberg Family Foundation, © 2000 Martin Puryear/ Arion Press ULAE.

Barbara Kruger, Untitled (We Will No Longer Be Seen and Not Heard) from the Untitled Portfolio, 1985, 9 prints, photo-offset lithograph and screenprint on paper, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Museum purchase.

Sol LeWitt, Wavy Brushstrokes Superimposed #4, 1995, hand-drawn photo transfer with aquatint on
paper, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of Mike Wilkins and Sheila Duignan, © 1995 The LeWitt Estate / ASociety (ARS), New York.

 

Smithsonian American Art Museum
1661 Pennsylvania Avenue N.W.
at 17th Street
202-633-7970
Washington
Multiplicity
November 11, 2011-March 11, 2012

Multiplicity features contemporary prints from the permanent collection of the Smithsonian American Art Museum that embrace many styles, techniques and approaches with which artists have worked over the past several decades.

The exhibition is organized by Joann Moser, senior curator at the Smithsonian American Art Museum, and travels following its presentation in Washington, D.C.

“It is a special treat to be able to put on public view so many large-scale prints by some of the most influential contemporary artists working today,” said Elizabeth Broun, The Margaret and Terry Stent Director of the Smithsonian American Art Museum.

“Multiplicity implies abundance and variation,” said Moser. “These prints are the result of collaboration between the artist and professional printers who help realize the artist’s vision. This interaction alters the stereotype of the artist working alone in the studio and celebrates the power of collaboration.”

The exhibition features 83 works, created between 1972 and 2009, by contemporary artists such as John Baldessari, John Cage, Vija Celmins, Chuck Close, R. Luke DuBois, David Hockney, Sol LeWitt, Brice Marden, Julie Mehretu, Martin Puryear, Tim Rollins and K.O.S., Susan Rothenberg, Kiki Smith and Kara Walker. Nearly half of the prints included in the exhibition are recent acquisitions, and 38 were acquired by the museum in the past five years. The exhibition is the first time the museum has shown the majority of these artworks.

The concept of making multiple images from the same matrix has been integral to printmaking ever since the earliest prints were pulled from woodblocks and metal plates in the 15th century. Each impression is considered to be an original work of art. Multiplicity brings together a selection of prints by artists for whom the concept of multiplicity in its many forms provides a touchstone for their artistic expression. Many of the artists in the exhibition have expanded the idea of multiplicity beyond
editions of identical impressions by creating series, sequences and images that comprise numerous parts. They explore repetition, pairing and variations on a theme as artistic strategies. Implicit in their exploration of multiplicity is a challenge to rarity and uniqueness as determinants of value. All of theprints in the exhibition are part of an edition, and each impression is considered to be an original work of art. A slideshow of all artworks included in the exhibition is available on the museum’s website.

Helen Frankenthaler, Tales of Genji VI, 1998, color woodcut on handmade rose paper, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Partial and promised gift of the Jerome F.
Meyer Trust, © 1998 Helen Frankenthaler / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.

Chuck Close, Self Portrait, 2000, sceenprint on paper, Smithsonian American, Art Museum, Museum purchase, © 2000 Chuck Close.

Louise Bourgeois, Ste. Sebastienne, 1992, drypoint on paper, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Museum purchase made possible by Mrs. E. C. Hobson, © 1992 Louise Bourgeois.

David Hockney, Views of Hotel Well III, 1984-1985, lithograph, edition: 80, 48-1⁄2 x 38-1⁄2, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Partial and promised gift of the Jerome F. Meyer Trust. © David Hockney/Tyler Graphics LTD.

Juan Sanchez, Cielo/Tierra/Esperanza, 1990, collograph, lithograph, collage and stenciled paper pulp on handmade paper, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of Donna Barnard Ari in honor of Susan Sollins, © 1990 Juan Sanchez Smithsonian American Art Museum.

Walton Ford, Visitation, 2004, color etching, spitbite aquatint, and drypoint on paper, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Museum purchase through the Luisita L. and
Franz H. Denghausen Endowment, © 2004 Walton Ford.

Ed Ruscha, Western Vertical, 1986, color lithograph on paper, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of Tom and Judy Brody, © Ed Ruscha and Castelli Graphic and Cirrus Editions, Ltd.

Jim Dine, Singing and Printing 1, 2001, unique monoprint woodcut, hand-colored with acrylic paint on paper, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Partial and promised gift of the Jerome F. Meyer Trust, © 2001 Jim Dine / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.

Robert Bechtle, Sunset Intersection, 1983, color soft-ground etching on paper, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Museum purchase made possible in part by
the Lichtenberg Family Foundation and the Director’s Discretionary Fund, © 1983 Robert Bechtle.

Lou Stovall, Land Origin, 2005, screenprint, on paper, Smithsonian American Art, Museum Museum purchase through the Julia D. Strong Endowment, © 2005 Lou
Stovall.