Master printer and publisher Jacob Samuel has brought etchings—printed images transferred to paper by metal plates dipped in acid—into the 21st century through collaborations with more than 60 contemporary artists. Some of the artists had never made prints; others had hated the process. But with Samuel’s guidance, they all adapted this historic technique to their artistic visions. This exhibition gathers the resulting books and print portfolios to show the flexibility of etching and its reinvention for a contemporary world.
Samuel's career began in the printshop of Abstract Expressionist painter Sam Francis. It was there that he determined the type of etching projects he wanted to publish: small scale, serial, and generally printed in a single tone. Soon, Samuel began to work on prints with a group of diverse and remarkably influential artists—painters like Christopher Wool and Jonas Wood, sculptors like Jannis Kounellis and Cristina Iglesias, musicians like Meredith Monk, and performance artists like Marina Abramović.
Image: Detail from Untitled, Carline von Heyl, 2013 / courtesy of MoMA