12381 - 20170102 - Exhibition at LACMA celebrates the formidable legacy of Gemini G.E.L - Los Angeles - 11.09.2016-02.01.2017

Roy Lichtenstein, Reclining Nude, 1980, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, gift of Dorothy Lichtenstein, © 1980 Estate of Roy Lichtenstein / Gemini G.E.L., photo © Museum Associates/LACMA.
The Los Angeles County Museum of Art presents a major exhibition celebrating the formidable legacy of Gemini G.E.L. (Graphic Editions Limited), the renowned Los Angeles workshop and publisher that has transformed American printmaking and the Los Angeles arts community. The Serial Impulse at Gemini G.E.L. explores the workshop’s collaborative methods and embrace of technical innovation, which provided artists with the resources to produce groundbreaking work, through notable serial projects. For centuries, artists have produced series to develop thematic, narrative, literary, and formal imagery in a sequential manner. This practice was especially prevalent in the 1960s as Conceptual, Minimalist, and Pop artists adopted the serial format to explore the potential of systems and structures related to such notions as rational order and mass production. Artists at Gemini have engaged, and continue to engage, a variety of approaches to serial production, resulting in some of the workshop’s most significant publications. The Serial Impulse at Gemini G.E.L. presents a selection of these notable projects, many of which have rarely been displayed in their entirety, from seminal works by Jasper Johns, Robert Rauschenberg, and Frank Stella to more recent series by Julie Mehretu and Richard Serra.

The Serial Impulse at Gemini G.E.L. was organized by the National Gallery of Art, Washington, on the occasion of Gemini’s 50th anniversary, where it was on view October 4, 2015–February 7, 2016. LACMA’s exhibition—co-curated by Leslie Jones, curator of prints and drawings, and Naoko Takahatake, associate curator of prints and drawings— showcases nine of the 17 serial projects presented in Washington, D.C. Unique to the Los Angeles presentation is a selection of seven additional serial projects drawn from the museum’s permanent collection with supplemental loans from Gemini G.E.L. and the Grinstein family. Furthermore, the Los Angeles exhibition highlights meaningful connections forged between the artists, Gemini, and LACMA over the past 50 years. For example, LACMA premiered Gemini G.E.L.’s very first artist edition in 1966—a series of prints by Josef Albers called White Line Squares.

“For the past half-century the work produced at Gemini has informed the aesthetic sensibilities of Los Angeles’s culture. To this day, Gemini remains a highly influential and pioneering workshop,” said Michael Govan, LACMA CEO and Wallis Annenberg Director. “Pivotal works produced at Gemini have been integral to the museum’s permanent collection, monographic exhibitions, and programs.”

“Gemini’s spirit of collaboration and its technical experimentation fostered significant artistic achievement,” commented co-curators Leslie Jones and Naoko Takahatake. “Gemini has worked with the most notable and influential artists of the 20th and 21st centuries, and The Serial Impulse at Gemini G.E.L. proudly presents landmarks of American printmaking from the past five decades.”

Co-founder Sidney Felsen adds, "Gemini started in 1966 as a lithography studio, and by 1968 we completed our first sculpture edition. Within a few years, etching, screenprinting and woodblock printing were added as well as three-dimensional editions using metal, wood, fabrics, rubber, plastic—anything the artist wanted. We've always told the artists they can work in any medium or combination of media they chose, and they are encouraged to experiment as much as needed and stay as long as they possibly can."