Los Angeles, CA – This exhibition examines the development of serial imagery in prints, from the early European Renaissance to the present day. Drawn primarily from the extensive collection of works on paper in the Grunwald Center for the Graphic Arts, the exhibition is one in an ongoing series of exhibitions focusing on the Hammer Museum's permanent collections. On view March 23 – July 13, 2008.
First inspired by the printed book in the late fifteenth century, early printed series frequently depicted narrative subjects drawn from literary sources. Biblical themes or mythological subjects were portrayed by a wide range of Renaissance artists such as Albrecht Dürer and the German "Little Masters." Traditional subjects such as the Times of Day, Twelve Months, and Four Seasons offered an ideal pretext for the representation of landscape by Dutch artists of the seventeenth-century.
The seventeenth and eighteenth centuries witnessed the development of the improvisational capriccio and artists such as Callot, Goya, and Piranesi invented variations on fantastic and dramatic themes in printed series. These themes of time, landscape, narrative, and capriccio are also explored in contemporary printed series by artists such as Christiane Baumgartner, Chris Burden, Mona Hatoum, Jan van de Velde, William Hogarth,Utagawa Hiroshige, and Chris Ofili.
The variety of ways in which these artists have explored the serial image reminds us of the rich dialogue that can take place across centuries and cultures and of the enduring importance of the series in the visual arts.
This exhibition is organized by Cynthia Burlingham, Director of the Grunwald Center and Deputy Director of Collections at the Hammer Museum.
ABOUT THE HAMMER MUSEUM
The Hammer Museum, a public arts unit of the University of California, Los Angeles, is dedicated to exploring the diversity of artistic expression through the ages. Its collections, exhibitions, and programs span the classic to the cutting-edge in art, architecture, and design, recognizing that artists play a crucial role in all aspects of culture and society.
Founded by Dr. Armand Hammer in 1990, the museum houses the Armand Hammer Collection of Old Master, Impressionist, and Post-Impressionist paintings and the Armand Hammer Daumier and Contemporaries Collection. Associated UCLA collections include the Grunwald Center for the Graphic Arts, comprising more than 45,000 prints, drawings, photographs, and artists’ books from the Renaissance to the present; and the Franklin D. Murphy Sculpture Garden on the UCLA campus. The Hammer’s newest collection, the Hammer Contemporary Collection, is led by works on paper, particularly drawings and photographs from 1960 to the present.
As a cultural center, the Hammer offers a diverse range of free public programs throughout the year, including lectures, readings, symposia, film screenings, and music performances. The Hammer’s Billy Wilder Theater houses these widely acclaimed public programs and is the new home of the UCLA Film & Television Archive’s renowned cinematheque.
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