Representative pieces by six important artists—whose work spans the last 500 years—feature in Graphic Masters: Dürer, Rembrandt, Hogarth, Goya, Picasso, R. Crumb, a groundbreaking exhibition for SAM. Our first-ever major show devoted to the graphic arts (two-dimensional works relying on line as a way to create visual impressions) displays a variety of print types, including woodblock, engraving, etching, and aquatint, as well as pen and ink drawings. More than 400 artworks will introduce visitors to revered historical artists, while connecting their work to the innovations of modernism and today’s thriving culture of graphic novels and comics.
Printmaking and drawing allowed artists the room to experiment and to express personal sentiments, and the messages they carry are as remarkable as the virtuosic skill they display. They were made to teach and satirize, to inspire and titillate, to share dramatic narratives and visualize profound emotions. Though the featured artists are also known for painting, graphic arts were central to their careers and legacies.
From the earliest artist, German Renaissance master Albrecht Dürer, to the latest, contemporary comic legend R. Crumb, Graphic Masters explores how some of the best-known artists in history have used the graphic arts to give form to their ideas. Exemplary works from the past half-millennium offer a new perspective on the lasting value of this overlooked art form.
Credit: Exhibition overview from museum website