Thursday, May 8, 2008

Addison Receives Gift of Richard Serra Print

Today we hear from guest poster Brian T. Allen, the Addison's Mary Stripp & R. Crosby Kemper Director, regarding the Addison's latest acquisition:

I am delighted to announce the gift to the Addison of an important and dynamic print, D.T.E. by Richard Serra. Dating to 1999, the print was part of the landmark Addison exhibition, Richard Serra: Large Scale Prints, which appeared in Andover in 2004.

We are so pleased to have this gift for many reasons. First, it is an object of the very highest quality. The artist is among the most creative and influential of his time. The donor, Paul Schupf, is a collector of strong vision and sharp focus. The work augments our increasingly strong holdings of late twentieth century art. And it looks great on the walls of our galleries!

Richard Serra’s prints have always been fascinating to me. As a graduate student, I focused on prints but the artists I knew the most about ranged from Dürer to Whistler and the one or two generations of British printmakers who followed him. In school, my conception of an etching or an engraving or an aquatint or a drypoint was very much bound up in the work in these fields of the Old Masters. Serra was one of the early radicals in the 1960s and 1970s who took the conventional rules of printmaking and gave them entirely new potential and boundaries. D.T.E., for instance, is an etching but knowing the etchings of, say, Whistler, with their refined, ethereal lines, I had to look at the power of etching as a medium in a new way. Serra’s print evokes more the explosive energy of star newly born than the timelessness and discretion of a Venetian lagoon. Serra’s experimentation with new papers and inks is certainly central to etching’s new look as is his embrace of jagged shapes, powerful geometric forms, and, of course, a large scale.

Thanks to Paul Schupf for this wonderful gift, made in honor of my predecessor, Adam Weinberg. The print has been on deposit here for several years, and in the future as in the past we will use it for a range of exhibitions and also for teaching as part of our heralded education program. Gifts of this kind continue to make the Addison is very special place.

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