Press Room / VERMILLION EDITIONS LIMITED: PRINTS, MULTIPLES, ARTIST’S BOOKS, 1977-1992

August 31, 2006

VERMILLION EDITIONS LIMITED: PRINTS, MULTIPLES, ARTIST’S BOOKS, 1977-1992

MEDIA CONTACTS
TAMMY PLESHEK, MINNEAPOLIS INSTITUTE OF ARTS, (612) 870-3171; TPLESHEK@ARTSMIA.ORG
LYNETTE NYMAN, MINNEAPOLIS INSTITUTE OF ARTS, (612) 870-3173; LNYMAN@ARTSMIA.ORG
ANNE-MARIE WAGENER, MINNEAPOLIS INSTITUTE OF ARTS, (612) 870-3280; AWAGENER@ARTSMIA.ORG

Print Quality Images Available Online: http://www.artsmia.org/press

VERMILLION EDITIONS LIMITED:
PRINTS, MULTIPLES, ARTIST’S BOOKS, 1977–1992

On view October 14, 2006 – January 7, 2007 at the MIA

Minneapolis, August 31, 2006—Organized by the Department of Prints and Drawings at the Minneapolis Institute of Art (MIA), Vermillion Editions Limited: Prints, Multiples, Artist’s Books, 1977–1992, presents a retrospective look at the significant achievements of this nationally recognized, Minneapolis-based print workshop. Its innovative contributions to contemporary printmaking are revealed in the more than seventy original prints, multiples, artist’s books, and monotypes on view at the MIA October 14, 2006, through January 7, 2007.

The works on display are drawn entirely from the Vermillion Editions Archival Collection, part of the MIA’s extensive holdings of modern and contemporary graphic art. Prominent regional and national artists such as James Rosenquist, Chuck Close, Red Grooms, Hollis Sigler, Robert Mapplethorpe, Sam Gilliam, Nicolas Africano, Malcom Morley, Steven Sorman, William Wegman, and Japanese-born conceptual artist Arakawa are showcased. In addition to their published work, the exhibition includes a selection of preparatory drawings, trial and working proofs, “false starts” (unrealized projects), and printing matrices to demonstrate the studio’s printmaking techniques and working methods.

Founded in 1977 by master printer Steven M. Andersen, Vermillion Editions Limited was a state-of-the-art printmaking studio and an important part of the 1970s American print renaissance. This movement had its beginnings nearly two decades prior when Tatyana Grosman launched her groundbreaking print workshop, Universal Limited Art Editions (ULAE) in New York. By recruiting leading avant-garde painters and sculptors such as Robert Rauschenberg, Jasper Johns, and Larry Rivers, Grosman helped establish in America the centuries-old European tradition of printing for artists. These close collaborations between artists and printers not only produced innovative works of graphic art, but also began a movement that continues to define contemporary print making today.

Andersen gained invaluable technical knowledge and hands-on experience while printing for Grosman at ULAE in the early 1970s. When he later returned to his native Minnesota and founded Vermillion, Andersen’s entrepreneurial spirit and printing skills quickly led his shop to become recognized as one of America’s leading collaborative printmaking studios. Under Anderson’s guidance, Vermillion not only attracted major artists from across the country, it became widely known for its artistic excellence, commitment to quality, and ability to undertake technically challenging projects.

Although Vermillion Editions ceased operation in 1992 because of financial pressures, its published body of work made a significant contribution to postwar Amercian printmaking. The entire Vermillion Editions Archival Collection, comprising more than eight hundred items, can be accessed by appointment in the Herschel V. Jones Print Study Room located in the museum’s new Target Wing.

Among the highlights of the collection and the exhibition are Chuck Close’s Phil/Fingerprint (1980), a larger-than-life-size lithograph portraying the avant-garde composer Philip Glass, which Close drew on stone using only his inky fingertips; James Rosenquist’s Alphabet Avalanche (1978), a striking abstraction combining lithography, screenprint, and collage, which features a cut-and-folded paper “stairway”; and Red Grooms’s Dali Salad II (1980), an audacious three-dimensional multiple portraying the Surrealist Salvador Dali emerging from a bowl of mixed greens.

Another highlight in the exhibition and one of the high points in the history of Vermillion Editions is the First Artists Portfolio, a suite of six prints featuring works by Robert Moskowitz, T.L. Solien, Malcolm Morley, John Newman, Brad Davis, and Robert Cumming. Newman’s dynamic lithograph, Fold-Out (1985), is accompanied by an extraordinary series of preparatory drawings and working proofs, giving viewers a rare opportunity to trace the work’s evolution.

Documentary
The MIA’s documentary video, Vermillion Editions: Right to Print, produced in 1984, is available for viewing during the exhibition. The film examines the working practices of artists such as Gilliam, Grooms, Arakawa, and Harmony Hammond.

Catalogue
Published in conjunction with the exhibition, Vermillion Editions Limited: A History and Catalogue, 1977–1992 is the first comprehensive examination of the Vermillion studio, its artists, and its published work. This fully illustrated 352-page catalogue with color reproductions is available at the MIA shop for $54.95.

About the Minneapolis Institute of Art
The Minneapolis Institute of Art (MIA), home to one of the finest encyclopedic art collections in the country, houses nearly 100,000 works of art representing more than 5,000 years of world history. Highlights of the permanent collection include European masterworks by Rembrandt, Poussin, and van Gogh; modern and contemporary paintings and sculpture by Picasso, Matisse, Mondrian, Stella, and Close; as well as internationally significant collections of decorative arts, Modernist design, photographs, and Asian, African, and Native American art. General admission is always free. Some special exhibitions have a nominal admission fee. Museum hours: Sunday, 11 a.m.-5 p.m.; Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; Thursday, 10 a.m.-9 p.m.; Closed Monday. For additional information, call (612) 870-3131 or visit www.artsmia.org. # # #