A brilliant display of colorful prints is on display at the de Young in Celebrating the Spectrum: Highlights from the Anderson Collection. Opening in conjunction with the inauguration of the Anderson Collection at Stanford University, the de Young’s exhibition illuminates how artists of the past 60 years—including such greats as Josef Albers, Anni Albers, Jasper Johns, Roy Lichtenstein, Ad Reinhardt, and Frank Stella—have used color as a principal element in their printmaking. Individually, each work explores color as its primary subject; shown collectively, the featured works investigate the aesthetic qualities of modern print processes such as lithography and screenprint.
Celebrating the Spectrum features some of the most significant prints in the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco’s Anderson Graphic Arts Collection. Harry W. and Mary Margaret Anderson, along with their daughter, Mary Patricia Anderson Pence, gifted their collection of more than 650 prints, multiples, and monotypes to the Museums in 1996, and they continue to generously add new works to it. The collection now spans the years 1962 to 2014, chronicling one of the most exciting periods in this country’s printmaking history with outstanding examples of woodcut, intaglio, lithography, screenprint, and monotype from major fine art presses, including Gemini G.E.L. in Los Angeles, Universal Limited Art Editions in New York, and Crown Point Press in San Francisco. A highlight of these works currently featured is New York–based artist Kate Shepherd’s Splendor of Duration, Triumph of the Moment series of prints (2013), selections of which are on view for the first time at the de Young. In the three prints from this stunning series, generously gifted to the Museums by Harry W. and Mary Margaret Anderson in May 2014, Shepherd continually adjusted the same image to create gradations of blue, exposing what she calls “incremental emotional shifts” in color.
Selections from the collection are featured in an ongoing series of exhibitions in the Anderson Gallery of Graphic Art at the de Young, and publications and programs interpret this important educational and art historical resource for museum audiences.