On the occasion of the 50th Anniversary exhibition of the Department of Prints in 1980 “PRINTED ART: A VIEW OF TWO DECADES”:
The printed image is ubiquitous in contemporary art. The silk screens of the Pop Artists; the lithographs of the major painters of the 1960’s and 1970’s; the ephemeral periodicals and booklets of the Conceptualists; the etchings and engravings of the Minimalists, with their precise lines and clear colors; the images of everyday life seen in the work of the Photo-Realists–all are, in the words of Riva Castleman (Director of the Department of Prints and Illustrated Books), ‘testimony that a great part of the creative activity of this era has been directed toward the widespread communication that prints make possible.’
The exhibition featured prints by Artists: Josef Albers, Art & Language, Jennifer Bartlett, Joseph Beuys, Mel Bochner, Daniel Buren, Christo, Chuck Close, Jim Dine, Marcel Duchamp, Helen Frankenthaler, Richard Hamilton, David Hockney, Bryan Hunt, Jasper Johns, Alex Katz, Ellsworth Kelly, Joseph Kosuth, Les Levine, Sol LeWitt, Roy Lichtenstein, Claes Oldenburg, Philip Pearlstein, Martial Raysse, Robert Rauschenberg, Ad Reinhardt, Ed Ruscha, Robert Ryman, Michael Snow, Soto, Frank Stella, Victor Vasarely, and Andy Warhol.
In 2012, for the exhibition “Print/out” Christophe Cherix, the Department’s Chief Curator, explored another aspect of the world of prints:
(…) to think about print not as a mode of fabrication … but as a mode of distribution (…) Printed materials, in both innovative and traditional forms, have played a key role in this exchange of ideas and sources.
The exhibition featured major artists and publishing projects, such as Ai Weiwei, Trisha Donnelly, Martin Kippenberger, Daniel Joseph Martinez, Lucy McKenzie, Aleksandra Mir, Museum in Progress, Edition Jacob Samuel, Thomas Schütte, SUPERFLEX, Rirkrit Tiravanija, and Christopher Wool, among many others…
I feel this is that sort of “magnitude” Adam Gross aims to reach with The Lapis Press which he joined in 2013 as the Director after being Associate Director of Development at MOCA, Los Angeles and Executive Director of Art Platform, Los Angeles.
With expertise in the two divergent fields of museums and art fairs, Gross had a pretty good grasp of the Los Angeles art scene and was ready to handle another aspect of it: working with the artists and the print world.
The Lapis Press was founded in 1984 by Los Angeles artist Sam Francis “with the goal of producing unusual and timely texts in visually compelling formats”. It continues 31 years later with new fresh objectives and in 2013 relocated in Culver City, 8563 Higuera Street.
The one story brick building was remodeled by the famous architecture firm Johnston Marklee. Inside, the long studio space is simply divided with two mini smoky houses, one built to create Gross’s office space.
Lapis published works are displayed throughout the space. Like the two enigmatic white and blue photographs by Japanese photographer Rinko Kawauchi (above) or the three large landscapes in golden tones by Elger Esser (below)
If photography is the core of their business, Adam Gross explains “Lapis is an artist’s toolbox. We can do whatever they want.” They help the artists through the process of making very specific limited-edition works to express their their unique type of art. Ruben Ochoa’s steel wire tied porcelain bundle with concrete base, or Gabriel Orozco’s delicate Lotus Leaves etching on gampi, which was mounted between UV plexi-glass in a wood frame.
Adam Gross leads a wonderful team to produce the editions, following him with the same passion.
I saw Adam Gross dynamic at the art fair’s press conference and I found him passionate when speaking about his new mission at The Lapis Press. BCh
See more here: https://www.lapispress.com/