Throughout his career Vito Acconci has systematically explored and dealt with the relationship between the private and the public. During the 1970s he was noted for his groundbreaking and provocative performance, film and video work. At the end of the 1980s he started an art and architectural firm which today primarily works with large public assignments that combine art, architecture and landscape design. He is a professor at Brooklyn College in New York. Acconci’s two works from Crown Point Press on display in this exhibition integrate both the viewer’s physical presence and the architecture of the exhibition space into the anatomy of the artwork.
Vito Acconci lives and works in New York.
In his paintings, prints and photographic works, John Baldessari investigates the relationships between words, text, images and logic, and challenges the viewer’s preconceived notions and expectations. While exhibiting extensively internationally, he has also taught continually until recently at the California Institute of the Arts and University of California Los Angeles. He has been a mentor for several generations of acknowledged artists from California. John Baldessari’s art is characterized by a philosophical seriousness that hides behind radical aesthetics and a dry humor. Or perhaps it is the other way around.
John Baldessari lives and works in Santa Monica.
Iain Baxter has a background in biology and zoology. His art is influenced by both scientific theory and Eastern philosophy. In 1965 Baxter started N.E. Thing Co. Ltd., a company through which he explored the potential for alternative forms of artistic production. Iain Baxter is recognized as a forerunner of Canadian conceptual art, and is a professor at the University of Windsor’s School of Visual Arts. In the series “Reflected San Francisco Beauty Spots” we see a picture with the picture of a mirror, which in turn reflects a chosen spot in San Francisco. An image of an image of an image in the eye of the beholder.
Iain Baxter lives and works in Canada.
Robert Bechtle has lived and worked his entire life in the San Francisco Bay Area and takes his motifs from his immediate surroundings, with San Francisco’s characteristic architecture, steep hills and parked cars as subjects for his studies. Bechtle is interested in perception in relation to the varying concepts of time that different visual media represent, and his paintings and etchings are executed as slow and meditative reformulations of photographic images. He has taught at San Francisco State University and has worked regularly at Crown Point Press since 1967.
Robert Bechtle lives and works in San Francisco.
From 1978 until his death in 1992 Cage worked almost annually at Crown Point Press.
Pia Fries lives and works in Düsseldorf.
The Indian-British artist Anish Kapoor is renown for his monumental architectural and site-specific sculptures, which challenge the limits of our spatial perception. Anish Kapoor’s works have a unique ability to initially seduce the viewer with their utter beauty and then cause the disquieting sensation of suddenly realizing you have no idea what you are looking at–an experience that can be described as a metaphysical vertigo. Mother of Light is one of 23 etchings Anish Kapoor produced at Crown Point Press between 1988 and 1991.
Anish Kapoor lives and works in England.
Per Kirkeby was a young geology student in 1962 when he joined the legendary experimental art school Eksskolen in Copenhagen with Joseph Beuys, Poul Gernes and Bjørn Nørgaard, among others. His interest in geology has played an essential role throughout Kirkeby’s prolific artistic production, which includes painting, sculpture, drawing, printmaking, film and large public commissions. Kirkeby is also active as a writer and has been a professor at the art academy in Karlsruhe and the Frankfurter Stedschule. During an intensive week at Crown Point Press in 1993 he completed a series of 18 smaller black-and-white etchings and four large color etchings.
Per Kirkeby lives and works in Denmark.
Tom Marioni is a sculptor who works conceptually with sculpture, drawing, printmaking, installation and performance. His comprehensive body of work is inspired by Asian culture and philosophy and the conceptual tradition within Western art that was initiated by Marcel Duchamp. In 1970 Marioni started the Museum of Conceptual Art (MOCA) in San Francisco, which was one of the United State’s most important alternative art venues up until its’ closing in 1984. He has worked with Crown Point Press since 1974 as an artist, curator and author. Tom Marioni uses the materials and tools of etching as both means and end in his process-oriented performance pieces where the finished print is a poetic and matter-of-fact consequence of the artists’ action.
Tom Marioni lives and works in San Francisco.
Dorothy Napangardi comes from Mina Mina in central Australia. She is one of about 3000 Aborigines who speak the Warlpiris language. She works within an artistic tradition thousands of years old, where the concept of Jukurrpa, which can only imprecisely be translated into English as “Dreaming”, is of essential cultural importance, and which is passed down from generation to generation through ceremonies and painting. Dorothy Napangardi’s art is therefore abstract only for the uninitiated. Her unique and radiant etchings confirm that artistic quality transcends all geographic, cultural and chronological limitations.
Dorothy Napangardi lives and works in Australia.
Etching was an untested medium for Jockum Nordström when he arrived as a guest artist in December 2007 to Crown Point Press’s large combined studio and printshop in central San Francisco. The new medium proved a good fit with his artistic approach. As if in a modern alchemists laboratory, his images grew out of the blending of ideas, chemicals and shiny copper plates. The etchings are a unique synthesis of the precision of his drawings, the openness of the collage and the organic color scale of painting. Nordström is the first Swedish artist invited by Crown Point Press through a collaboration with Grafikens Hus and the Barbro Osher Pro Suecia Foundation.
Jockum Nordström lives and works in Sweden.
Laura Owens is one of the United State’s most prominent young artists within the new figurative painting scene that has emerged in the last ten years. She belongs to a post-theoretical generation of artists, and has said that she approaches her work in “a matter-of-fact way in order to take some of the preciousness and exclusiveness out of the history of the practice”. Laura Owens concluded her studies at the California Institute of the Arts in 1994 and already has an extensive exhibition history with separate exhibitions at such leading institutions as the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles and the Kunsthalle Zürich.
Laura Owens lives and works in Los Angeles.
Judy Pfaff is one of the pioneers of installation art. Her characteristic sculptural installations expand spatially like monumental three-dimensional drawings, consisting of vast accumulations of disparate material and shapes. Her two etchings from Crown Point Press in this exhibition build elaborately organized microcosms of abstract shapes, movements and structures that walk a fine line between chaos and order. The titles of the etchings refer to Leonardo da Vinci’s musings on the nature of phenomena.
Judy Pfaff is a professor at Bard College, New York. Judy Pfaff lives and works in New York.
Ed Ruscha is probably the artist who has most clearly articulated the visual culture that is so characteristic for southern California and Los Angeles. It is a culture based on the fact that life is largely experienced from within a car on the artery of freeways. Urban sprawl, billboards, gas stations, shopping malls, and palm trees under an eternally blue sky. Simplified and quick visual messages everywhere–speed here has become a part of the language’s syntax. Ruscha is considered one of the central figures of American Pop Art, and he has worked with Crown Point Press since 1982.
Ed Ruscha lives and works in Los Angeles.
Pat Steir’s artistic process is similar to basic research in science. A central issue within all serious research is “What happens if you do this?” The answer is never preordained, whether in science or art. Some of Steir’s tools in Crown Point Press’s studio: paintbrushes, gravitation, acids, meditation, copper plates, action.
Pat Steir has an honorary doctorate from the Pratt Institute, New York. She has worked regularly at Crown Point Press since 1977.
Pat Steir lives and works in New York.