Recent Acquisitions: Prints and Photographs Opens at The New York Public Library

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Recent Acquisitions: Prints and Photographs Opens at The New York Public Library
Darren Almond, Civil Dawn, 2010. Portfolio of five photogravures printed on gampi paper with chine collé. Published by Crown Point Press.

NEW YORK, NY.- In conjunction with its centennial, The New York Public Library is exhibiting print and photographic works acquired within the last decade in Recent Acquisitions: Prints and Photographs. On display in the Print and Stokes Galleries of the Stephen A. Schwarzman building at Fifth Avenue at 42nd Street, the works included demonstrate that the Library’s Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Arts, Prints and Photographs – which boasts holdings of nearly one million objects -- is not a static collection but continues to grow through purchases and gifts. Similarly, all of the artists in the show are also still alive and working. Recent Acquisitions: Prints and Photographs is on exhibit through June 30, 2011.

The Stokes Gallery presents six sequences of work by living artists: Dieter Appelt, Tom Burr, María Martínez-Cañas, Natasha and Valera Cherkashin, Michel Szulc Krzyzanowski, and Vera Lutter. The series, selected by Photography Curator Stephen Pinson, were acquired for the Photography Collection over the past five years. Fifty-seven individual pieces are displayed.

Photographs by Dutch photographer Michel Szulc Krzyzanowski were taken on the Greek island of Crete and interpret the artist’s relationship with the physical world. In contrast, the images from Vera Lutter – taken with a walk-in, pinhole camera – were created in Venice, Italy and relate to her work dealing with themes of industrialization and environmental change. Tom Burr’s architectural photographs from the 1994 series Unearthing the Public Restrooms – all taken in various neighborhoods in New York City – track a languishing American building type. Valera and Natasha Cherkashin’s 1972 document A Week of Cutting Hair and German artist Dieter Appelt’s Der Augenturn (The Eye Tower) both turn the camera on the artists themselves. Similarly, the 2008 work by María Martínez-Cañas, from her Duplicity as Identity series, combines basic photographic printing techniques with digitial imagery to push the boundaries of self-portraiture.

Fifty photogravures, letterpress and mixed-media collage prints, etchings, lithographs, screenprints, and linocuts are on display in the Print Gallery. Darren Almond’s five photogravures document the moments before daybreak on Japan’s Mount Hiei. Amy Kao’s two works, made by invitation of the Lower East Side Printshop, draw inspiration from graffiti, lace, and architectural motifs. American artist Francesca Gabbiani’s rococo frames are populated with plants and unlikely creatures, such as a large pink octopus. Eight works from a collaboration between American abstract artist Terry Winters and writer Ben Marcus are shown in Turbulence Skins. Biomorphic shapes float and crisscross each other in space in two screenprints by Japanese artist Yoko Motomiya. Rita McBride’s elegant portfolio of etchings makes methodical use of an architect’s drawing template in four untitled prints from the 2008 portfolio fr.jpa.cur. Other artists exhibited include Huma Bhabha, Victoria Burge, Barbara Madsen, Catalina Chervin, and Lothar

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