ARCHIVE: Poster Archive: 1. Printmaking

Adriana Lademann | July 3, 2015

For my work-study at the SFU Gallery in Burnaby, I was presented a stack of posters from the galleries archive. My instructions were to create a digital archive. Rather then present you with some 50 odd posters, I would make a selection of posters that I thought related to one another. I also wanted to present them in the SFU hallways at the Burnaby Campus, where they were probably originally hung. My first selection deals with printmaking.

My first selection is AMERICA at Simon Fraser, which ran from October 14 - November 7, 1986. It was a selection of prints from the university’s permanent collection, which included Rauschenberg, Lichtenstein, Motherwell, Oldenburg, Man Ray, Warhol, Johns, Stella and Albers. The poster is an image of one of Andy Warhol’s cows. I found a funny quote from Warhol about Ivan Karp, the art dealer who inspired the cow: “Another time he said, ‘Why don’t you paint some cows, they’re so wonderfully pastoral and such a durable image in the history of the arts.’ (Ivan talked like this.) I don’t know how 'pastoral’ he expected me to make them, but when he saw the huge cow heads—bright pink on a bright yellow background—that I was going to have made into rolls of wallpaper, he was shocked. But after a moment he exploded with: 'They’re super-pastoral! They’re ridiculous! They’re blazingly bright and vulgar!’ I mean, he loved those cows and for my next show we papered all the walls in the gallery with them.”

The second poster is this beautiful pink and orange poster for 50 Dutch Prints, which happened in 1971. My photograph does not do the colours justice. This exhibition was brought together because of a television show talking about printmakers. 50 artists were selected from the Netherlands to make 50 prints of the same design to be shown simultaneously in 50 galleries. The idea of having a global conversation about an exhibition would be very exciting at that time and still seems like a very interesting concept with the digital age we are in now.

The last poster I’ve selected is probably the most special one in the poster archives. It was hand printed, and you can feel the layers on the poster. It was designed for Visual Arts Workshop Annual in 1969. There is no information as to whether this was an exhibition of works, or some type of printing workshop. At the bottom reads “AIS.” I would like to believe that the hands of AIS are seen in this work.

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