HAA 179P - Press-Reverse-Resist: Introduction to Print in Contemporary Art





Jennifer L. Roberts

Monday, Wednesday, 3:00pm - 4:15pm

We are told that print is dead. But the codes and processes of printmaking continue to shape contemporary art, culture, and technology in powerful ways. The most basic physical fact of printing -- its use of pressure in the creation of images and texts -- makes it an ideal tool for confronting questions of oppression and resistance. The collaborative qualities of printmaking are models for new understandings of distributed creativity and intelligence. The image reversals that occur in all print processes open ways of thinking about the world from a critical perspective, approaching it from "the other side.” Even the most advanced digital information technologies draw on the traditions of print in fundamental ways. This course will provide an introduction to printmaking processes and will trace the life of print in art of every medium since 1960. Along with the lectures, there will be frequent study sessions with original works in the Harvard Art Museums, and hands-on print workshops. Artists covered will include (among many others) Robert Rauschenberg, Glenn Ligon, Christiane Baumgartner, Andy Warhol, Ellen Gallagher, Julie Mehretu, Edgar Heap of Birds, Willie Cole, Corita Kent, Richard Hamilton, Ed Ruscha, and Jasper Johns.