Sunday, December 11, 2005

Crown Point Press

Last week I visited the Crown Point PressWinter exhibit. I didn't realize that the printshop was just around the corner from the SFMOMA, so I stopped by to take a peek. I was so ecxited because Crown Point Press has such a great reputatioin. A lot of famous artists go to crown point press to turn their work into intaglio prints. I wasn't particularily drawn to anything I saw, but It was pretty exciting being there. There were tons and tons of drawers with past porfolios in them. If you ask them to look at the prints, they give you pretty white gloves to flip through the prints. I asked to get a tour of the printshop, but the tour guide was busy. The woman told me to come back during the week when I can actually see people pulling prints off the press. That's extremely exciting. I kind of sneeked into the printshop anyways, and it seemed so huge. I'll have to go back after I get back from Ireland, and get a better view.

Crown Point began in 1962 as a print workshop, but started publishing prints in 1965 with etching porfolios by Richard Diebenkorn and Wayne Thiebaud. It functioned as both workshop and publisher until 1971 when Brown formed an alliance with the New York publisher, Parasol Press. In that year Crown Point Press moved from Brown's Berkeley basement to a loft space in downtown Oakland, and --through Parasol Press-- began working with New York artists Sol LeWitt, Brice Marden, and others who would later be seen as key members of the Minimal art movement.In 1977 Crown Point Press shifted its emphasis back to its own publishing program, and began working with a group of mainly Conceptual artists including Vito Acconci, Chris Burden, Tom Marioni, John Cage, and Pat Steir. Artists published by Crown Point since that time represent a wide variety of contemporary art approaches, and many of them live in countries other than the United States. Art historian Susan Tallman in her 1996 book, The Contemporary Print, describes Crown Point as "the most instrumental American printshop in the revival of etching as a medium of serious art." From 1982 through 1994 Crown Point added Asian woodcut techniques to its etching program, taking artists to Japan, and later China, to work with craftsmen in those countries. ince 1986 Crown Point Press has been located in San Francisco, where it has a gallery open to the public and two large etching studios. With a staff of twelve, the press currently publishes etchings by five or six invited artists a year. It also holds summer workshops open to all artists.

I'll really want to take a summer workshop next summer, so hopefully the classes will not be full.


m.Lee said...

This is really cool stuff to know. I tend to learn a lot about printmaking whenever I read your blog.

Mandy said...

Yes, I'm learning a lot too. There is so much to's all so fascinating.