The Lapis Press and our local print-making friends are honored to present L.A. Printmakers Unite!, a selection of beautiful editions from six of LA’s great printmakers and publishers. Each work was carefully chosen to represent a broad selection of LA art history, and all are affordably priced with the holidays in mind. L.A. Printmakers Unite! includes selections from publishers who have been making art for on average 40 years - Aardvark Letterpress (1968), Mixografia (1969), Self-Help Graphics (1973), The Lapis Press (1984), and Hamilton Press (1990) and El Nopal Press (1990). For those for whom the feel of paper is still important, join us for an Open House at Lapis (Culver City) to view these works in person on Saturday, December 1st.
L.A. Printmakers Unite! began as an idea, a natural extension of the democratic ideals embedded in the tradition of print-making – multiples and editions by their very nature make art more accessible. Prints can be many things to many people. For artists, this type of collaboration can bring new ideas for art-making. For publishers and print-makers, this activity is nothing short of a calling - an expression of love for the process, for creativity. All of our efforts are ultimately to be shared with the public, for whom prints provide access to great art at very affordable prices.
Each and every work included in this exhibition tells a story. Sometimes it is a conversation between works, with Alexis Smith’s print of a proof sheet from her deck of cards Alexis Smith Playing Cards Made in the USA there is a beautiful conversation with Paul Ruscha’s A Different Deck (Hamilton Press, 2010 / Smith’s work was created in 2007 for WACK!, MOCA’s defining exhibition on feminist art - printed by Lapis in 2017). Megan Geckler’s Your Prisms Ring So Clear (Aardvark Press / Bert Green Fine Art, 2014) displays print-making virtuosity in how carefully aligned each plate and color are composed on the paper. Mixografia’s Eight Colorful Inside Jobs (2017) by John Baldessari is pure delight as it illuminates in exquisite detail some of the artist’s more complex ideas in this three-dimensional work that emerges from what seems a very flat surface. With El Nopal’s The New York Times (with ruptures) by Analia Saban (2011), the prescience and symbolism of the gesture of the ink from a front page of news smeared across the sheet is both haunting and seductive.
The diversity found in Self-Help Graphics selections speak volumes about their commitment to serving a very diverse community - both in Boyle Heights and Los Angeles at-large.
We hope that you enjoy browsing these selections as much as we have enjoyed traipsing back and forth across our great metropolis, exploring the flat-files, storage and studios (all with ink smudged hands) to source these gems. Please know that your interest and support allows us to continue this labor of love - this act of faith that together we can make something even greater. We will be posting new works over the course of the exhibition - so come again and please know you are welcome to contact us with any questions or specific requests.