FOR 25 YEARS: CROWN POINT PRESS November 20, 1987 - February 9, 1988
For Immediate Release November 1987
The twenty-fifth anniversary of Crown Point Press, the distinguished California print workshop and publisher, is celebrated in an exhibition at The Museum of Modern Art from November 20, 1987, to February 9, 1988. Organized by Riva Castleman, director of the Department of Prints and Illustrated Books, FOR 25 YEARS: CROWN POINT PRESS includes approximately forty works published by Crown Point Press, most of which are from a large donation commemorating its quarter century.
Artists represented in the exhibition include John Cage, Francesco Clemente, Joan Jonas, Elaine de Kooning, Robert Mangold, Tom Marioni, Judy Pfaff, Steve Reich, Ed Ruscha, David True, and William Wiley (complete list attached).
Founded in 1962 in the basement of director Kathan Brown's Berkeley home, Crown Point Press was a print workshop organized to produce bound books of prints. The complete production process of the early books, which included editions by Wayne Thiebaud and Richard Diebenkorn, was considered part of the art work. In 1970 Crown Point printed its first non-book work, color aquatints by Thiebaud, published by the newly-formed Parasol Press in New York. Two years later Brown moved her etching presses to a studio in Oakland, where she remained until 1986. During the years 1971-76 Crown Point continued to print for other publishers, working with such New York artists as Sol LeWitt, Brice Marden, Chuck Close, Dorothea Rockburne, Robert Mangold, Dan Flavin, and Helen Frankenthaler.
While continuing to work exclusively in the traditional intaglio mediums (etching, engraving, aquatint, etc.), by 1977 the print workshop began to publish its own works; over the decade it has produced works by forty-four artists. In 1984 it established a New York gallery, followed by a move in 1987 to a new studio/gallery in San Francisco. Crown Point schedules about twelve artists a year—one at a time, two weeks each—to work in San Francisco. Since 1982 it has also commissioned three or four artists per year to complete two-week woodcut projects in Japan.
Over ten years ago Kathan Brown wrote, "... I believe that the most influential artists of our time now find drawings and prints to be central to their work. It might even be possible that, having passed through an age of painting and an age of sculpture, we may have arrived quietly at an age of drawing. If that is true, there will be drawings and prints among the 'major works' of our time."