Joan Mitchell and Grace Hartigan at Tiber Press
On view are some rare proofs by Joan Mitchell and prints by Grace Hartigan from “Salute”, a collaboration between the artist and poet James Schuyler. Also on display are photographs of Joan Mitchell working in the Tiber Press printing studio and some of the acetate sheets painted by the artist before printing the silkscreens.
Floriano Vecchi and Richard Miller founded the Tiber Press in 1953, specializing in very fine silkscreen print making techniques. Vecchi received widespread acclaim in the New York Art scene in 1962 following his work with Andy Warhol on a screen made out of a dollar bill Warhol had drawn. Vecchi worked with Warhol to redraw the bill on mylar and instructed Warhol in the screen-printing process, which Warhol promptly introduced in his studio.
Grace Hartigan was a well-known New York School painter, who began her professional career in the early 1950’s, working in multiple mediums. Hartigan began making screen prints in the early 50’s, working with the prominent literary magazines View and Folder, pioneering printmaking projects from that time period. Her early works of graphic art were often conceived and presented in association with poetry, such as her work with poet James Schuyler shown in this exhibition. Hartigan was influenced by William De Kooning and Franz Kline, shown through her development of a more painterly abstract manner, using energetic swaths of dripping house paint and collage. Her work is in permanent collections at the Museum of Modern Art, NY, The Guggenheim Museum, NY, the Art Institute of Chicago and many others.
Joan Mitchell began working with the printers at Tiber Press to produce works in the late 50’s and early 60’s. Regarded as a leading female figure in the New York School of abstract expressionists by the early 1950’s, Mitchell, also influenced by De Kooning and Kline, often painted in brilliant colors juxtaposed to the chaotic marks of black and motionless voids of the bare canvas. Several years later, from 1960-64, the artist concentrated her forms to more densely packed masses of black with some sombre colors. The silkscreens in this show are Mitchell’s first mature prints. Mitchell created multiple proofs depicting her interpretation of the poems by John Ashbury. The poet, editor, and Mitchell herself then selected the most appropriate images for print in the book based on the feelings evoked from each proof.