CLEVELAND (April 23, 2013) – The Cleveland Museum of Art presents Less is More: Minimal Prints, an exhibition of over 50 artworks that examines the avant-garde Minimal Art movement that emerged in America around 1960. The spare style, consisting of single or repeated geometric forms depicted in solid, flat colors, was in stark contrast to the emotive, handmade look of Abstract Expressionist works, popular during the preceding two decades. Influential artists like Sol LeWitt, Ellsworth Kelly, Brice Marden, Donald Judd, Frank Stella and Robert Mangold all embraced this pared-down aesthetic and are featured in the exhibition, along with several others. A variety of printmaking techniques, such as woodcut, etching, aquatint, screenprint and lithograph will be represented. Organized by the Cleveland Museum of Art, the free exhibition will be on view June 16 through October 20, 2013 in the museum’s Prints and Drawings Galleries.
“The thirteen artists included in Less is More: Minimal Prints demonstrate that a geometric style is not necessarily sterile or empty,” said Jane Glaubinger, curator of prints at the Cleveland Museum of Art. “Minimal Art, however reductive, is a personal expression.”
Less is More offers a rare opportunity for visitors to view the light-sensitive works on paper from the museum’s collection. Most of the works have never before been on display and several are recent acquisitions, like Sol LeWitt’s Six Geometric Figures, a series acquired in 2008 in pristine condition. Gifted to the museum in 2008, Rubber Stamp Portfolio, consists of works printed from rubber stamps in 1976 by several artists like LeWitt, Mangold and Agnes Martin, and will be on view for the first time.
The Prints of Ellsworth Kelly
Friday, August 16, 7:00 p.m., Recital Hall. Free.
Richard H. Axsom, curator at the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art, offers an overview of Ellsworth Kelly’s prints and an assessment of their achievement. He suggests the pivotal role they play in the context of Kelly’s art as a whole and how, in regard to Less is More: Minimal Prints, they fit into the minimalist tendencies of the 1960s. Special attention is given to the Rivers project (2002-2005), a lithographic series of three monumental prints and eight state editions. Dr. Axsom has written that in its “conception, manufacture and expressive richness, the Rivers marks an epic achievement in the history of the modern print.”