Highlights of Thirty-Five Years
Figuration and Its Meaning
Conceptual Art and Its Affinities
Diebenkorn and Cage
Figuration and Its Meaning (Room 3 of 6)
In the early 1960s, Kathan Brown sponsored weekly sessions with a model in the studio, encouraging other artists to join her in drawing from life directly onto etching plates. Her first publications of Richard Diebenkorn (in the last room of the exhibition) and Wayne Thiebaud were a statement of her interest in a range of representational and figurative viewpoints. As is apparent in etchings by William Bailey and Joan Nelson, who came to the studio in the mid-1990s, Brown has maintained this commitment for thirty-five years.
Significant for their social, mythical, and narrative content as well as for the various styles they represent, etchings and Japanese woodcuts by Francesco Clemente, Alex Katz, and William T. Wiley reflect the interaction of ideas with different technical processes. Portraiture is a repeated theme in the work of Chuck Close, Clemente, and Katz. A sense of place is suggested by prints as diverse as Pat Steir's waterfalls, Robert Kushner's homage to ornament, the mythic world of Italo Scanga, and Robert Bechtle's street scene, a light-filled portrait of an automobile. Bechtle's image is printed on silk mounted to paper and reveals the extraordinary refinements possible within the Chinese woodcut tradition that Crown Point Press explored between 1987 and 1994.
Copyright © 2008 National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC