This exhibition showcases some 80 prints and artists’ books the Museum has acquired over the past two years, and reveals how an art collection is always a work in progress. On view for the first time at MoMA, these seminal works in the history of printmaking span more than a century, from 1888 to 2011, with some contextualized by related works already in the collection.
Pablo Picasso’s 1937 print The Weeping Woman, acquired in 2011, which filled one of the last major gaps in MoMA’s holdings of works by the artist, is shown alongside the third state of the same image that joined the collection in 1999. Likewise, the 1958 linoleum cut Solid as a Rock (My God Is Rock), by Charles White, acquired in 2010, is complemented by a lithograph by White that was donated to the Museum more than forty years ago, and illuminates White’s widespread impact on a younger generation of artists. Other highlights include Jasper Johns’s celebrated screenprint Flags I (1973), two vertical flags printed with 31 screens, which adds a key example of Johns’ early screen printing to the collection.
The exhibition also addresses more experimental processes that have often led to rare or one-of-a-kind works, from James Ensor’s hand-colored Deadly Sins (1888–1904) and a group of Henri Matisse’s monotypes (1914–15), to a recent monumental cyanotype by Christian Marclay.