Thursday, February 16th, 2012
Earlier this week I attended the opening reception for Print/Out, MoMA’s latest exhibit to highlight printing practices, this time, surveying contemporary projects and series of the last two decades. Culled almost exclusively from the museum’s Department of Prints and Illustrated Books, the exhibit is as visually compelling as it is informative. A section devoted to the work of Edition Jacob Samuel, highlighted by a display and video demonstration of his portable aquatint box and Marina Abramovic portfolio, offers a rare glimpse at the technical artistry of the print master and his practice. In Harper’s Pictorial History of the Civil War (Annotated), Kara Walker’s solid black silhouette figures find new context, silkscreened against reproductions of an 1886 publication of Civil War prints. Selections from Damien Hirst’s 1999 Last Supper portfolio remind me why he was once interesting. Danish collective Superflex (who launch a solo show at Peter Blum next month) have set up a functioning workshop, inviting visitors to create replicas of iconic modern lamp designs by selecting a design and pasting computer print outs onto small wooden box frames. The works will be periodically hung from the gallery’s ceiling, growing an installation of art reproductions over time. The participatory piece in flux may just compel me visit again in a few weeks.