Singapore Tyler Print Institute proudly presents STPI 10 Years: Celebrating the Art of Collaboration featuring works from extraordinary 20th century art giants such as Helen Frankenthaler, Robert Rauschenberg, Jasper Johns, David Hockney and Claes Oldenburg together with STPI’s resident artists, Tabaimo, Qiu Zhijie, Lin Tianmiao, Thukral & Tagra and Heman Chong, pivotal figures who are shaping contemporary art.
This survey of works from the Singapore Art Museum Tyler Collection and STPI pays tribute to the artistic developments and innovations resulting from collaborations between artists and printers/papermakers, giving the audience a unique opportunity to engage with editioned prints, paper pulp works, artists’ books and object-based prints by significant artists of our time.
Kenneth E. Tyler propelled collaborative printmaking to new heights in 1960s America by building upon the working process between artists and printers. He offered new ways to approach the print medium by expanding traditional methods with the use of innovative materials and processes in his workshops, Gemini G.E.L in Los Angeles, California, and Tyler Graphics Ltd. in Mount Kisco, New York. These collaborations have since revolutionised print- and papermaking and remains at the core of STPI.
One stand-out work is Robert Rauschenberg’s Booster (1967) created during his experimentation with print which stemmed from the emergence of the Pop Art movement in the 1960s and his natural curiosity to work with different materials and techniques. Booster is significant as it challenged the conventional notion of size for a print. Rauschenberg wanted to make a large print but the press Ken Tyler had in his workshop in Los Angeles at the time was only 52 inches long: Booster is 72 inches. So they came up with an idea to do it in two sections. The top part of the image was drawn on one stone and the bottom on another stone. During the printing cycle they ran the top half through the press first, and then they took the other stone and placed it on the press and then ran the paper from the backside through the press. This created quite a stir, because up to that moment nothing larger than that had been made in hand lithography.
Another artistic first is Claes Oldenburg’s Profile Airflow (1969), one of the first sculptural prints made in collaboration with Ken Tyler’s Gemini workshop. Oldenburg chose the sleek, recognisable image of Chrysler Corporation’s Chrysler Airflow automobile as representative of a commodity of our materialistic culture.
A darkly beautiful work is Tabaimo’s Wallpaper 06 (2009). During her residency at STPI, Tabaimo created a series of complex images involving fusing individual printed layers into pulp paper first and then peeling them out to reveal the different printed layers beneath. The resulting gash and ragged flap of paper that hangs off the work resembles a skin laceration. This is the influence of the severe dermatitis that Tabaimo suffered from, a sensation she describes as insects crawling under her skin. One can only imagine the intense itch that would cause a person to literally tear one’s skin off. The viewer is repelled by the sensation the work conjures up and yet riveted by the intricate patterns, shadows and burn marks.
Heman Chong’s complex and dynamic silkscreen prints inspired by film noir titles challenged the STPI team with their technical, geometric shapes that required a high degree of skilful precision to execute. Each print bears the title and director of the film; utilising that knowledge and through each print’s visual language, the viewer is invited to connect them to a memorable scene from the film.
R: Alien (2006)
Silkscreen on Fabriano 100% cotton paper
STPI Imp (ed of 15)
100 x 70 cm
STPI was established in 2002 under the guidance of Master Printer Kenneth E. Tyler and continues to thrive with artistic dialogues between the artists and STPI’s workshop team in new exciting developments such as three-dimensional paper casts and integrating digital components to produce mechanised prints. STPI continues to be an instrumental regional platform and collaborates with visionary and historically significant artists, to create groundbreaking works and new visual vocabulary.
STPI 10 Years: Celebrating the Art of Collaboration runs till 30 June 2012.
Venue: Singapore Tyler Print Institute (STPI)
41 Robertson Quay Singapore 238238
Tuesday to Saturday: 10am – 6pm. Monday by appointment only. Closed Sundays and Public Holidays