The IFPDA Print Fair is already known for the finest prints among art fairs, but this year, the Tamarind Institute’s “Suite Fifteen” makes it—more than ever—a destination. In addition to Tamarind’s new prints, Suite Fifteen will feature mint-condition, never-before-owned work from all-star artists including Elaine de Kooning, Nicholas Krushenick, Emerson Woelfer, Nathan Oliveira, and Tamarind co-founders Garo Antreasian and June Wayne, among others. The series is compiled from the storied lithography workshop and training program’s first 15 years, beginning in 1970.
Tamarind’s third co-founder, the late Gustave von Groschwitz, once wrote, “Whenever I study the color lithographs in Suite Fifteen...they give me a lift. These feelings fade with time but always leave an afterglow of joy and serenity.” The prints that make up Suite Fifteen are rare, but even more compelling is their ability to transport us to a formative time in the careers of the artists behind them.
In pristine form, Ed Ruscha’s Excuse Me invites an early look at an intentionally uninviting work by one of our most wry and enigmatic artists. Von Groschwitz contrasted his use of text with famed artist Robert Indiana: “When Robert Indiana uses the word ‘love,’ as a theme he is dealing with a subject we can understand. Ruscha’s words do not have these emotional attachments.”
Providing a chance to see Ken Price’s fusion of influences, Untitled is reminiscent of everything from Japanese woodcuts to the artist’s early life in California and New Mexico. It also provides a significant glimpse of the artist bridging realism and abstraction, or what Kurt von Meirer once deemed “the aesthetic of nastiness…[and] mean-beautiful things.”
And the bold colors of David Hare’s Untitled are among the Suite’s most affecting, and not to be missed. “No matter how the subject is interpreted,” von Groschwitz wrote, “nobody can deny the strength and power this lithograph projects… It carries a massive threat, although at the same time I feel we can cope with it successfully.”
On view at Tamarind Institute, IFPDA Print Fair 2013, Booth 312, November 7th – 10th.