From the C.N. Gorman Museum Collections

The Art Institute of Chicago

Jun 23 - Sep 12, 2014


Screen Prints 1970 features works by 74 artists who were affiliated with the Printmaking Department of the School of the Art Institute, later known as The Art Institute of Chicago. Organized in 1970 by Sonia Landy Sheridan, the portfolio was created by faculty, graduate students and alumni “in an attempt to establish a working relationship between the artist, education and industry.” While silkscreen processes were widely utilized in the US for commercial purposes from the 1930s, it was during the 1960s that screen printing gained popularity as an artist technique, most notably with the work of Andy Warhol. In the silkscreen technique, a frame is built, onto which silk or synthetic fabric is stretched. Stencils are laid onto the stretched fabric for each transfer of color, which is squeezed through to the paper or other material. Silkscreening lends itself to very bold, graphic design because of the use of stencils and it can be used to reproduce elements of photographs.

The versatility and accessibility of the process enables artists to create works in large multiples at a relatively low costs which contributed to its rise in social and political contexts. The works on display reflect a wide range of topics, communities and perspectives. The portfolio evidences the ways in which printmaking creates spaces for sharing amongst colleagues, communities, and discourses.

Among the artists included is George Longfish, Sonia Landy Sheridan, Red Grooms, Theodore Halkin, Joseph Clower, Jack Burnham, Peter Davies, Tom Kapsalis, Helen Doroshow, Frank Barsotti, Sondra Jones, James Valerio, Tom Seghi, Frank Piatek, Robert Schwartz, Gail Griggs, Frank Gaard, Ed Paschke, Mario Castillo, Ed Flood, Karl Wirsum, Mimi Grooms, Tony Phillips, Barbara Rossi, and Donald Yoshida.


top: Ralph Levinson, Silver Blues, 1970
middle: Robert Frontier and Bill McCabe, Coop Coop, Etc. Etc., 1970
bottom: George Longfish, Thomas Indian School, 1970