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Michael Mazur Monotypes

September 20 through November 8, 2008

Curator: Anthony Kirk

Opening Reception: September 20th

Michael Mazur: Monotypes presents an overview of a long career revealing the artist’s varied interests, from early black-and-white prints of still-life and animal life to recent colorful abstractions incorporating the use of stencils and overprinting.

In 1980, The Metropolitan Museum of Art mounted the exhibition The Painterly Print, a survey of monotypes from the seventeenth century to the twentieth. It was a pivotal exhibition for contemporary printmaking, because the curators’ selections and essays revealed the creative possibilities of a forgotten medium. the museum-going public was enlightened and artists were intrigued by this painterly process of printmaking. Michael Mazur successfully lobbied for the inclusion of contemporary monotypes, and he contributed a catalog essay, “Monotype: An Artist’s View,” describing how and why artists make monotypes. His own monotype diptych Window Sequence (Fire) was purchased from the show for the museum’s permanent collection. Twenty-eight years later, the influence of the exhibition continues undiminished.

Before that exhibition, however, monotypes were relatively unknown. Now monotype printing is taught in art schools and printmaking workshops here and abroad. Another measure of the medium’s surge in popularity is the revised and expanded edition of The Complete Printmaker. Authors John Ross and Clare Romano dedicated only a scant page and a half to monotype when their classic text was first published in 1972; the 1990 edition devoted fourteen pages to the monotype process. Appropriately, Michael Mazur’s Palette Still Life was featured on the dust jacket, for Michael has been instrumental in the renewed interest in monotype.