Beginning December 2, Phoenix Art Museum will present an exploration of the photographic revolution that began during the second half of the 20th century. The Logic of the Copy: Four Decades of Photography in Print spans the period from 1960 through the early 2000s and highlights the influence of artists as diverse as Robert Heinecken, Andy Warhol, Robert Rauschenberg, James Turrell, and Tacita Dean who began to integrate photography with text and the graphic arts.
This explosion of photographic printing was a crucial factor in the transformation that took place in the art world during this time, from the democratization of the artistic economy to the conceptual shift toward cross-disciplinary forms of art. Artists began turning away from Modernism and its emphasis on the essential qualities of and boundaries between different media, and toward the exploration of new forms across artistic disciplines.
This led to a wide range of multi-faceted, mixed-media works, exemplified by the selections featured in The Logic of the Copy: artist’s books and portfolios by artists hoping to expand their economic possibilities beyond the gallery system; large-scale prints by painters who were experimenting with photographs alongside more traditional media; and small works derived from commercial objects, from postcards and tarot cards to politically-charged images overlaid on magazines
“The printmaking and photography booms are an especially crucial period of study, as the same concerns that motivated these artists are relevant in today’s digital environment,” said Andrew Kensett, curatorial assistant and the acting assistant curator at the Center for Creative Photography. “The practices of sharing images widely, using art as a medium for social and political engagement, and promoting the general democratization of art were at the forefront for artists working in print during this period, and their history is inextricably tied to our present moment.”
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Exhibition Page: William Henry Jackson, Utah. The Giant’s Club and Kettle, Green River, 1898. Photo-chromolithograph. Collection Center for Creative Photography.
Left: Joan Lyons, untitled from the series Presences, 1980. Offset lithograph. Collection Center for Creative Photography © Joan Lyons.
Center: Andy Warhol, Sunset, 1972. Screenprint. Collection Center for Creative Photography © The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc.
Right: Betty Hahn, Untitled (The Lone Ranger), 1976. Screenprint. Collection Center for Creative Photography © Betty Hahn.