Saturday, April 14, 2012

Tamarind 's Fifty

To commemorate the fifty's birthday of the Tamarind Lithography Workshop (now Tamarind Institute), the University of New Mexico Art Museum organized an exhibition which travelled to the Newcomb Art Gallery on the Tulane campus in New Orleans. June Wayne who died in August 2011 at the age of 93, is credited with the creation of the Tamarind Workshop in Los Angeles in the 1960's. It was transferred to the University of New Mexico in 1970.

"Tamarind Touchstones: Fabulous at Fifty" includes eighty lithographs from the Tamarind archives displayed in close quarters along the walls of the gallery: Joseph Almyda "Fleur du Mal III", 1987, Roy De Forest "The Wizards of Hand gliding", 1995, Ellen Berkenblit "Return of Bright Brown", 2003-2004... and it goes on. The display appears random, not by subjects, chronology, artists or techniques. A few well-known artists are represented like Kiki Smith, Leon Golub, June Wayne herself, Sam Francis, Philip Guston, Joseph Albers, Richard Diebenkorn, Robert Kelly, one work for each artist only. In the center, viewed from all sides are the two panels from Jim Dine, " Double Dose of Color", 2009.
The works remind us that lithographs are made through the collaboration between artists and craftsmen and the display could have been an occasion to describe the process of lithography.
I found a site easy to navigate from the MoMA to explain the techniques.
The exhibition has a limited impact, purely aesthetic and appears to have been curated without a clear goal.

photograph by the author
"Niobid" Leon Golub, 1965

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