At the heart of printmaking lies communication—be that via text and/or images. From the time of its emergence in Western Europe at the beginning of the 1400s, the mechanics of printing began as a means of sharing stories and knowledge with a larger audience that continued to grow as educational institutions became more widespread and inclusive. In the following centuries, printing and printmaking became integral both to the sharing of information and the creation of art. The advent of the industrial revolution at the end of the 1700s—and the advances in technology and materials science that it brought—unleashed a new wave of creativity in the art world. Makers adopted new developments in engineering and chemistry originally meant for commercial industrial applications to produce new, modern work. As they did, a new way of looking at and understanding the “print as art” came into being.
The Modern Matrix includes 45 examples of works representing various technical and artistic innovations that emerged from the 1900s to the early 2000s. Demonstrating the depth and breadth of the Museum’s large collection of prints, many of the works are by artists of international renown, while other examples were made here in the state by Alabama’s own artistic innovators.
Above: William T. Wiley (American, 1937-2021), Eerie Grotto? Okini, 1982, color block print on rag paper, Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts Association Purchase, 1999.6
Organized by the Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts, Montgomery, Alabama.
Annual support for exhibitions was made possible by the following sponsors and grantors. Lead sponsors and grantors Alabama State Council on the Arts, Alabama Power Foundation, The Ford Foundation, Mr. and Mrs. Barrie H. Harmon III, Lamar, Medical Properties Trust, Inc., MGMWERX, Poarch Band of Creek Indians, Regions Bank, and Rheem Manufacturing, with additional support from sponsors Dr. and Mrs. Mark H. LeQuire, PowerSouth, The S. Adam Schloss Foundation, Mr. and Mrs. Ken Williams, and Laurie J. Weil, D.V.M. and Dr. Tommy Wool, and co-sponsors AmeriFirst Bank, Balch & Bingham, LLP, Barganier Davis Williams Architects Associated, AIA, Captrust, Nick Drollette Photography, Ms. Camille Elebash-Hill, Mrs. Ann Hubbert, Jernigan & Jernigan, LLC., Morgan Stanley Wealth Management, Mr. and Mrs. L. Daniel Morris, Jr., Harmon Dennis Bradshaw, Inc., Dr. and Mrs. Alfred J. Newman, Jr., River Bank & Trust, Russell Construction of Alabama, Inc., Ms. Micki Beth Stiller, Valley Bank, and Warren Averett, LLC.