National Print Exhibition, 13th Biennial
- Dates: March 6, 1962 through June 3, 1962
- Organizing Department: Prints, Drawings and Photographs
- Collections: Contemporary Art
February 20, 1962: The 13th National Print Biennial, one of the major Exhibitions of the year at The Brooklyn Museum, will show the work of 128 artists from 25 states and every section of the country. The impressive representation, selected from 1800 entries, will be on view in the Print Galleries at the Museum from March 6 through June 3.
The jury for this 13th national event consisted of artist Lee Chesney, Associate Professor of Art at the University of Illinois, Paul Mocsanyi, Director of the Art Center at the New School for Social Research in Manhattan, and Una Johnson, Curator of Prints and Drawings at The Brooklyn Museum who is also the originator and director of all 13 Print Biennials, the exhibition now considered to be one of the most important contributors to the recognition of printmaking as a fine art.
On observing this year’s entries and selections, Miss Johnson said: “In the cross section of accomplished work, which makes up The Brooklyn Museum’s 13th National Print Exhibition, many new names appear with the more familiar and well-established artists. Together they continue the chronicle of a robust and venturesome expression.” The noted Curator observed that the new artists in the Exhibition this year are people in their 30s and early 40s who have never exhibited before. “I believe that one of the reasons for the exceptional quality of the work of the many new artists is that we are now reaping the benefits of the graphic workshops throughout the country.”
Many award-winning artists, such as Mauricio Lasansky and Gabor Peterdi, head the Nation's outstanding graphic workshops whose student and graduate prints are among those in the Brooklyn sales exhibition, particularly the workshops of the Universities of Iowa, Illinois, California at Berkeley and Los Angeles, Yale University and several graphic workshops in New York.
Of special interest among the new artists are Charlene Craighead, whose relief print JOSEPH’S MANTLE is one of the 7 Purchase Awards. Miss Craighead, of Albuquerque, New Mexico, uses a new relief process applying coats of gesso to a flat wooden surface. Another Purchase Award winner, Dorothy Bowman of Big Sur, California, reveals the vast improvement in the serigraph medium with her print CITY EDGE #2. One of New York’s new printmakers, Mil Lubroth, also illustrates advancement in the medium with her serigraph POOR BUTTERFLY. A large number of lithographs were entered in this year’s show and THE PROMISE by newcomer John Helgeson of Berkeley, California is an example of the increasing proficiency of lithographs in color.
The presentation of each Print Biennial at Brooklyn has revealed new directions in the techniques and expressions of the art and the artists. This year it is evident that more established painters and sculptors are using printmaking as another art of expression. One reason given by Miss Johnson is that, “it helps them solve some problems in their painting and sculpture.” The majority of prints in the Exhibition are larger than easel paintings indicating that, “the artist of the mid-twentieth century, whether he is a painter or a sculptor, thinks in terms of large scale compositions, and when he turns to the print media as his vehicle of expression he continues this preoccupation.”
There are a number of figurative pieces in this year’s show in contrast to last year[']s more abstract entries. They include landscapes, still-lifes and observations of the human figure which are still more expressionistic than realistic and seem to be reflective of the problems and emotions of twentieth-century man.
Among the great number of entries were many experimentations in three-dimensional work, like low relief in paper instead of in bronze or in stone. This arresting type of print is represented in the Exhibition by such artists as Boris Margo, Ezio Martinelli, Michael Ponce de Leon and Angelo Savelli, whose experiment in three-dimensional lithography is particularly unusual.
Most of the prints in this Thirteenth National Print Exhibition at The Brooklyn Museum are for sale, with prices ranging from $15 to $350, at an average of between $35 and $150. Sales are handled at the Museum’s Gallery Shop.
On Monday evening, March 5, the night before the public opening, there will be an invitational preview for Museum Members from 9 to 11 p.m. An added attraction of the evening will be the U.S.I.A. film “Printmaking” which was obtained by special arrangement for two showings, 9:30 and 10:30, at the preview.