Curated by Mark Rosenthal
In the years since its founding in 1966, Gemini G.E.L. has established itself as one of the most highly regarded and influential printmaking workshops in the country. The Gemini G.E.L. studio in Los Angeles has been at the center of the printmaking renaissance that began in the mid-60s, providing an atmosphere of profound creative and experimental freedom that has led to brilliant collaborations between master printers and prominent artists, and to the development of many new printmaking technologies.
Both Life and Art takes its title from Robert Rauschenberg's well-known statement that he operates in the gap between art and life. Through its long history, Gemini has sought to bridge the gap between art and life by maintaining a working environment famous for its open spirit and uncompromising technical achievements. In celebration of its 25th anniversary, Gemini invited many of the well-known artists who had produced works at the workshop to select from the resulting print suites.
The media represented include etchings, lithographs, woodcuts, ceramics, and assemblage. These works display a major panorama of styles: Richard Diebenkorn and Mark di Suvero are from the post-New York School of abstraction; Robert Rauschenberg, Roy Licthenstein, Edward and Nancy Reddin Kienholz, Claes Oldenburg, and Malcolm Morley represent the shift toward the explicit subject matter associated with the Pop Art movement; Ellsworth Kelly and Richard Serra exemplify the tough expressive potential of minimal abstraction; Kenneth Price bridges the distinction between craft and fine art; and John Baldessari and Jonathan Borofsky epitomize the more recent practice of expressing personal fantasies through media-saturated images.
Both Life and Art, curated by the National Gallery of Art's Mark Rosenthal, offers museum docents, students, and visitors a concise overview of many of the most important art movements and techniques that have emerged over the last several years. "My approach to curating," says Rosenthal, "is to emphasize the experience of the work of art. I try to stand aside and let art do its magic. What is most remarkable about Gemini at 25 is the extraordinary range of work, from the cool, beautiful abstractions of Ellsworth Kelly to the playful quality of Lichtenstein and Oldenburg, to the raucous person art practiced by Jonathan Borofsky. This exhibition is not only a fine cross section of some of the best contemporary work, but it also embodies a major theme in twentieth-century art: the breaking down of traditional categories."
NUMBER OF WORKS:
February 1994 - December 1996