press release

The method of lithography—a printing process in which one draws onto a stone where ink is absorbed and repelled throughout to create an image—was invented in the late 18th century by Alois Senefelder. The technique was adopted by the early 19th-century French Romantics Eugène Delacroix and Théodore Géricault, was utilized extensively by the social and political caricaturist Honoré Daumier, and enjoyed a revival in the late 19th century, particularly in France, with Odilon Redon and Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec. Artists in the early 20th century—Edvard Munch, Käthe Kollwitz, Henri Matisse, Pablo Picasso, and others—experimented with the medium as well.

In the late 1950s, however, the artist June Wayne became aware that the technique of lithography, specifically the collaboration between the artist and a master printer, was gradually dying in the United States. After securing funding from the Ford Foundation, the Tamarind Lithography Workshop, Inc. (later, Tamarind Institute, when it moved from Los Angeles to Albuquerque) was established in 1960, with Wayne acting as the founding director. Wayne, and others associated with Tamarind, wanted to push lithography beyond its limits and described Tamarind as a place to: train a new generation of master printers, entice some of the finest artists to experiment with lithography, establish ethical standards, develop markets, and, in Wayne’s words, “restore the prestige of lithography by actually creating a collection of extraordinary prints.”

Over 600 artists have worked at Tamarind Institute in some capacity since its founding. This exhibition—which includes a very small selection of the museum’s permanent collection of over 500 Tamarind prints—highlights the Institute’s successful efforts, with works by such varied artists as Garo Antreasian, Elaine de Kooning, Roy DeForest, Rafael Ferrer, Françoise Gilot, Matsumi Kanemitsu, Nicholas Krushenick, George McNeil, Kenneth Price, Deborah Remington, Ed Ruscha, and June Wayne.