Picks and Pans Review: Ken Tyler—master Printer
by Pat Gilmour
Tyler studied the art of printmaking at Tamarind Lithography Workshop in Los Angeles, where the tradition of quality, innovation and experimentation flowered. During the last 20 years he has worked with artists of the caliber of Josef Albers, Claes Oldenburg, Robert Mother well and David Hockney. Because of workshops such as Tyler's, there are collectors today who specialize in prints—and not necessarily because it's any cheaper to accumulate lithographs than paintings. One print that Tyler made for artist Frank Stella in 1984 sells today for $30,000. This handsomely illustrated volume shows the master printer and his crew at work with various artists, as well as samples of their collaborations. Hockney, probably one of the most freewheeling artists of our time, produces big multipanel works that echo Matisse and yet exhibit details that are distinctly Hockney. The swimming-pool series that Tyler made for him, with its shimmering water in daubs of green and blue and white and lavender, is an especially beautiful collaboration. Gilmour, curator of international prints at the Australian National Gallery, has supplied the rather dry and unnecessarily academic text. The first page includes quotes from eight different sources and has as many footnotes. A fresh interview with Tyler would certainly have enlivened this book—the quotations from him were culled from earlier, previously printed sources. But those who are interested in art and the special province of contemporary printmaking will want this book in their libraries. (Hudson Hills Press, $25)
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