Chicago, IL—In an unprecedented partnership, Terra Foundation for American Art and the Museum of Contemporary Art of the University of São Paulo in Brazil (MAC USP) have joined forces to organize the exhibition Atelier 17 and Modern Printmaking in the Americas, along with a two-day international symposium, mini-course, and new catalogue publication.
Atelier 17 and Modern Printmaking in the Americas, which opened March 23 and runs through June 2, is the first presentation of the collection of modern American prints donated by Nelson Rockefeller in 1950, and American prints donated by the collector Lessing J. Rosenwald in 1956. The exhibition includes early twentieth-century American prints, contextualized with modern prints by Brazilian artists such as Geraldo de Barros, Fayga Ostrower, and Livio Abramo who had direct ties to Atelier 17—a collective studio founded by British artist Stanley William Hayter, established in Paris and reinstalled in New York after German invasion of France, in 1940. The exhibition examines the intricate network of international exchange between artists, curators, collectors, and audiences in Brazil and the United States.
The exhibition features nearly 60 prints from both MAC USP and US institutions, including 14 works from the foundation’s collection as well as key loans from the Brooklyn Museum and the Art Institute of Chicago. The exhibition is accompanied by a catalogue, an intensive two-week mini-course for USP graduate students co-taught by Brazilian and US specialists, and a two-day international symposium (April 11–12) examining major trends in modern printmaking across the Americas, with a focus on the practice, influence, and students of Stanley William Hayter and his Atelier 17 workshop.
“We are particularly enthusiastic to present these rarely seen works from the collection of the Terra Foundation for American Art in conversation with prints by Brazilian artists from the same period,” said Elizabeth Glassman, Terra Foundation for American Art President and CEO. “Our mission is to stimulate dialogue and exchange through projects such as this one. In doing so, we can together discover the ways in which cultural traditions might mirror each other or diverge, leading to the uncovering of greater understanding and expanded perspectives. It is an honor to work with our colleagues at the MAC USP, and the Brooklyn Museum and the Art Institute of Chicago, on this collaborative and rewarding exhibition.”
Hayter promoted a vigorous collaborative environment and the Atelier 17 studio was highly influential, attracting many international artists, such as Brazilians Lívio Abramo and Geraldo de Barros, whose works are displayed side by side with their American peers. Hayter’s studio was famous for its unconventional structure, in which the master-student relation gave way to an environment for experiments on new techniques and innovative printmaking methods. Atelier 17 was a place for artists from many countries and different backgrounds.
Created between 1910 and 1960, a period of innovation and experimentation, the works on display in Atelier 17 and Modern Printmaking in the Americas illustrate the vast possibilities in technique, visual, method, process and material on the expanded field of modern printmaking. The exhibition has its origins in the Master thesis of Carolina Rossetti de Toledo (who curated the exhibition along with Ana Gonçalves Magalhães and Peter John Brownlee), which focuses on 25 American prints from MAC USP’s collection, donated by Nelson Rockefeller to the former Museum of Modern Art of São Paulo (MAM-SP) in 1951.
“This comparative, cross-cultural exhibition provides an exciting opportunity to continue to build on the Terra Foundation’s work in Brazil following the award-winning Terra Collection Initiative exhibition, Picturing the Americas: Landscape Painting from Tierra del Fuego to the Arctic (2015–16), held at the Pinacoteca de São Paulo. It showcases an array of prints from the foundation’s collection, a number of which have not been shown in over two decades,” said Terra Foundation curator and exhibition co-curator Peter John Brownlee. “This exhibition has been a close collaboration between curators, registrars, designers, and educators at MAC USP and the Terra Foundation. We are grateful to our partners with whom we have worked to make this exhibition so richly layered with lectures, classroom teaching, and the close study of objects.”
This exhibition is a Terra Collection Initiative—a collaborative undertaking with publications and programs that further scholarship on the collection and make significant contributions to the study and understanding of historic American art. These projects are developed by Terra Foundation curatorial staff in concert with institutional partners throughout the world.
About the Atelier 17 and Modern Printmaking in the Americas Symposium
April 11–12, 2019
Museu de Contemporânea Arte da Unviersidade de São Paulo (MAC USP)
Held in conjunction with the exhibition, Atelier 17 e a gravura moderna nas Américas / Atelier 17 and Modern Printmaking in the Americas, this two-day, international symposium examines major trends in modern printmaking across America with a focus on the practice, influence, and students of Stanley William Hayter and his Atelier 17 workshop.