Brice Marden: Prints

March 11 - April 22, 2017

Brice Marden
Suzhou I-IV, 1998
set of 4 etchings with other media on Somerset paper
25 5/8 x 18 3/4 inches each (37.5 x 22.2 cm)
Edition of 45

Senior & Shopmaker is pleased to present Brice Marden: Prints, a selection of the artist’s graphic works spanning the years 1973 to 2001. Since the beginning of his printmaking career in the late 1960s, Marden’s physical engagement with materials along with the presence of an organizing grid or structure, even in the organic linear compositions of his later work, have been integral components.

This exhibition includes Five Plates, 1973, a series of large-scale aquatints with etching that relate to Marden’s Grove Group paintings of the early 1970s, inspired by the Greek landscape and notable for their dense and opaque monochrome surfaces. The solid geometry of Five Plates gives way by 1979 to the open grids of Tiles, a set of four etchings derived from the artist’s idea for the making of ceramic tiles.  Marden used a twig dipped in sugar solution to draw on the plates—a method that he began to explore more fully in the calligraphic, Asian-inspired imagery which developed during a major stylistic transition after a trip to the Far East in the mid-1980s. The zenith of this looser drawing style is found in Cold Mountain: Zen Study 1, 1991 from a series of six, large plate etchings characterized by meandering, intuitively drawn lines that are discretely organized into distinct vertical couplets and connected glyphs. The series title and its forms refer to writings by the celebrated poet Han Shan, known as “Cold Mountain,” who was active in China during the Tang dynasty (618–907).

In After Botticelli I, 1993, Marden adapted the serpentine lines of the Florentine Renaissance master Sandro Botticelli, celebrated for his use of line both to ornament and to convey movement. The vertical forms that appear in the etching refer to distinct columnar figures. Also dating from 1993 is Han Shan Exit (1-6), a set of six etchings marked by increasingly fluid linear compositions. Line Muses, 2001 in some ways reconnects with Marden’s early minimal work. The line work meanders uniformly across the entire picture plane with no suggestion of figures, landscape, or characters, revealing the artist’s roots in Abstract Expressionism.

Brice Marden was born in 1938 in Bronxville, New York. In 2006, the Museum of Modern Art in New York organized a major retrospective of his paintings and drawings, which later traveled to the San Francisco Museum of Art and the Hamburger Bahnhof in Berlin. Marden lives and works in New York.

For further information, please contact gallery@seniorandshopmaker.com

Polly Apfelbaum: Atomic Mystic Portraits

November 17, 2016 - January 14, 2017

Polly Apfelbaum
Atomic Mystic Puzzle 1
woodblock monoprint on handmade Japanese paper
25 x 25 inches

Senior & Shopmaker is pleased to present Polly Apfelbaum: Atomic Mystic Portraits, an exhibition of the artist’s recent monoprints and woodblock prints produced in collaboration with her longtime publisher, Durham Press. In her fabric sculptures, installations, ceramics, and works on paper, Apfelbaum explores complex formal and chromatic relationships, pushing the canon of modernist abstraction in decidedly original directions. Her work is steeped in references to feminism, women's work, craft, and fashion, and in particular the cultural associations inherent in pattern and design.

A recipient of the Rome Prize in 2013-14, Apfelbaum’s Italian visit led to a fascination with the drapery and colored fabrics depicted in Renaissance and Baroque paintings.  The fluorescent color of her Byzantine Rocker series is achieved by Apfelbaum’s employment of the split fountain or “rainbow roll” technique, in which multiple colors are partially mixed to achieve a continuous gradient effect. The technique appears again but in smaller segments in works such as Mosaic Mile, a large-scale monoprint inspired by decorative inlay mosaic floors typical of medieval Italian architecture. The “Cosmati” technique entailed elaborate inlays of small triangles and rectangles of colored stones. In Apfelbaum’s work, the effect is crafted from a lexicon of 1500 hand-laid, mosaic-like blocks which are inked and printed in different combinations on heavy handmade paper. The dazzling color and pattern of her new series, Atomic Mystic Portraits and Atomic Mystic Puzzles, are studies in the formal relationship of parts to the whole.

Born in 1955 in Abingdon, Pennsylvania, Polly Apfelbaum resides in New York. Her solo exhibition Face (Geometry) Naked (Eyes) is on view at the Ben Maltz Gallery, OTIS College of Arts and Design, Los Angeles, CA through December 4, 2016. Her work is included in the collections of the Perez Art Museum, Miami; Museum of Modern of Art, New York; Whitney Museum of Art of American Art, New York; Brooklyn Museum of Art, New York; Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles; Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, NY; Henry Art Gallery, Seattle; Dallas Museum of Art, Dallas; Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia; and Musée D’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, among others.


September 15 - November 12, 2016

Click here to view the exhibition catalogue

Bruce Conner
photo etching
19 9/16 x 16 5/8 inches
artist's proof

To coincide with the artist’s retrospective, BRUCE CONNER: IT’S ALL TRUE, which opened at the Museum of Modern Art on July 3 and continues through October 2, 2016, Senior & Shopmaker Gallery will present a one-person exhibition of photo etchings from Conner’s DENNIS HOPPER ONE MAN SHOW, 1971-73. In their final state, the twenty-six images that comprise the series were bound into three leather volumes; the gallery will exhibit rare unbound prints from the collection of the Conner Family Trust in San Francisco.

The genesis for this print project dates back to the late 1950s, when Conner began a series of paper collages using fragments of 19th-century engraved illustrations styled on those by French Surrealist Max Ernst. Conner’s collages depict a surreal, hallucinatory universe populated by images of flora and fauna, machine parts, and disembodied figures. His use of disparate appropriated and recycled materials parallel the techniques used to make the films and assemblages for which he is well known. Interested in shifting personas and subverting traditional notions of authorship, Conner attributed this body of work to his friend and fellow Kansas native, Dennis Hopper. The unwillingness in the mid-1960s of his Los Angeles dealer Nicholas Wilder to exhibit the work under another’s name, as well as Conner’s refusal to reveal his own identity, led to their relative obscurity during this time period.

A decade later, these collages became the source material for a series of photo etchings produced with Kathan Brown at Crown Point Press in Oakland, CA and published in 1971-73. In a performative full-circle, Conner returned the collages to their original printed state, producing twenty-six etchings bound in three black leather volumes and titled collectively DENNIS HOPPER ONE MAN SHOW VOLUMES I–III. Conner printed a limited number of unbound etchings, which will be on view in the exhibition. Acting simultaneously as artwork and as foil for a larger conceptual project, this series is considered by many to be among Conner’s major works.

The exhibition is accompanied by an illustrated catalogue with an essay by Rachel Federman, Assistant Curator of Modern and Contemporary Drawings at the Morgan Library & Museum and former Assistant Curator of Painting and Sculpture at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. Senior & Shopmaker Gallery is the exclusive representative of Bruce Conner’s editioned work from the Conner Family Trust.

BRUCE CONNER: IT’S ALL TRUE is the artist’s first monographic museum exhibition in New York and the first complete retrospective of his 50-year career. It brings together over 250 objects, from film and video to painting, assemblage, drawing, prints, photography, photograms, and performance from Conner’s varied oeuvre. Organized by the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the show will travel there in October 2016 and to the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia, Madrid, in February 2017.

Martin Puryear: Etchings

May 21 - July 29, 2016

In celebration of Martin Puryear’s monumental sculpture, Big Bling, installed in New York’s Madison Square Park through January 2017, Senior & Shopmaker is pleased to present a selection of etchings produced by the artist at Paulson Bott Press from 2008 through 2014.

Puryear’s printmaking is intimately connected to and revelatory of the creative process which informs his nuanced and meticulously crafted sculptures. In the artist’s words, “Prints are direct. It’s very freeing to work so directly. There is an element of immediacy about it, or there should be. In my hands it often isn’t because I tend to be difficult to satisfy in terms of getting it the way I want it.”  In his prints, Puryear uses line to investigate a form’s potential, whether schematic and minimal as in Untitled VI (State I) and Untitled VI (State II), 2012, or dense and volumetric in his description of the narrative forms in Black Cart and Phrygian.

Puryear’s graphic work is currently the subject of Multiple Dimensions, a traveling exhibition organized by the Art Institute of Chicago, which traveled to the Morgan Library & Museum, New York and opens May 27th at the Smithsonian American Art Museum in Washington, DC. 

From Point to Line

Works by Mel Bochner, Agnes Denes, Sol LeWitt, Robert Mangold, Mary Miss, Vera Molnar, Edda Renouf, Dorothea Rockburne, Fred Sandback, Richard Tuttle, Gunther Uecker, Lee Ufan

April 20 - June 18, 2016

Senior & Shopmaker is pleased to present From Point to Line, a group exhibition of works by artists whose common approach towards minimal, reductive imagery reveals remarkable diversity of expression.  Whether relying on mathematical concepts or intuitive forms of drawing, the placement and meaning of line is central to the artists’ intentions.

Sol LeWitt Pyramid 1986 gouache on paper 22 x 30 inches

Sol LeWitt
gouache on paper
22 x 30 inches

Artists such as Mel Bochner, Sol LeWitt, and Dorothea Rockburne use line and geometry to define spatial relationships and conceptual frameworks for artmaking. In LeWitt’s 1973 print portfolio, The Location of Lines, specific written instructions provided by the artist are incorporated as part of the image itself. The conceptual process is transparent and accessible, allowing the viewer to trace the evolution of what is intended as a large wall drawing. Mel Bochner’s 1997 wood engraving, 12” x 3”, presents an objective exercise in measuring the space between specified spaces or points—the distance between the edges of an etching plate, or the edges of the paper support. Though based on rational principles, its tongue in cheek rationalism reveals the vacuous nature of the endeavor. Dorothea Rockburne studied mathematics with Professor Max Dehn at Black Mountain College, and her fascination with proportion, geometry, and the Golden Ratio are found in her cut and folded drawings and works on paper. While Robert Mangold is no less interested in geometry, he uses line in a more lyrical way to reinforce the two-dimensional plane of paintings, drawings, and prints.

In works on paper by Edda Renouf and Gunther Uecker line is a means of exploring the physical process of drawing and inherent nature of their materials. Renouf‘s drawings are built up with layers of pastel upon which, using an etching needle, she incises vertical or horizontal lines to lift the fibers of the paper. While generally ordered, Renouf’s drawings synthesize the organic and the geometric. Vera Molnar’s disrupted computer algorithms and Lee Ufan’s repetitive linear mark-making exploit the phenomena of chance and the unexpected in the drawing process.

Richard Tuttle’s wire sculptures of the 1970s combined the essential qualities of drawing and sculpture, as did Fred Sandback’s yarn sculptures that defined space and volume of the architectural environment with the sparest of means. In their drawings and prints, line is used to create the illusion of spatial depth and perceptual shifts. In works on paper by environmental artists Mary Miss and Agnes Denes, line is used diagrammatically to relate to actual structures or the mapping of real or theorized spatial domains. Miss’s Drawing for Field Rotation, 1981 is a study for an earthwork sculpture in Nathan Manilow Sculpture Park, University Park, IL incorporating 125 wooden poles that radiate in eight lines from the center gently defining the slope of the landscape.

For further information, please contact Betsy Senior, Laurence Shopmaker, or Tyler Haughey at 212-213-6767 or at gallery@seniorandshopmaker.com.