The printmakers’ studio developed out of a widespread resurgence of fine art printmaking that began in the 1960s, especially through the work of Andy Warhol and Robert Rauschenberg. Notable Island artists Hilda Woolnough and Erica Rutherford were well-known for their close engagement with the medium, and both began focusing on printed works in the 1960s and 1970s.
For the past several decades the PEI Printmakers’ Cooperative has brought a strong appreciation of artistic printmaking to P.E.I. Through their exhibitions and workshops, Islanders became familiar with the art form to an unprecedented degree.
The Centre’s show includes work by many prominent Canadian artists, including Michael Morris, Gordon Smith and the collective General Idea, as well as Cape Breton-based New Yorker Joan Jonas. The show includes work by the late Island artist Floyd Trainor, who learned his trade at the art college in Halifax and brought his expertise to Holland College in the late 1970s and 1980s.
Alongside works from the collection, the exhibition also features a group of 1970s pieces loaned by the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design, all produced in its famed Lithography Workshop by international art stars of the period, including Vito Acconci and Dennis Oppenheim.
Ambition and Tradition: Fine Art Printmaking, 1960-1980 opens at the Confederation Centre Art Gallery on January 15 and is on display until May 22.