From the 1960s onwards silk screen printing has become a favourite technique amongst modern artists. One of the first artists who used this technique was Andy Warhol, of which his series Ladies and Gentlemen is exhibited in the Groninger Museum. In parallel, artists of abstract art also started applying silk screen printing to produce multiple copies of their work. Often these works were issued in a folder or a box containing a series of prints – starting with editions of at least five prints but sometimes consisting of dozens of ‘variations on a theme’. Here in the Groninger Museum Print Room a selection of the museum’s collection of such series is exhibited.
François Morellet’s silk screen prints were inspired by his own paintings, which he had made during the previous ten years. All of his prints are therefore separate works. The prints in Gerhard von Graevenitz’ folder however, are linked by a common theme or ‘line’ – in fact almost literally: a cumulative pattern of more and more tiny lines. Hans Koetsier’s work is based on language, in which his play with letter shapes and colours is at least as important as any possible message featured in the work. This same playful style, yet only with abstract shapes, also characterises Bonies’ series.
The tiniest prints featured here were created by Raoul De Keyser, who subtly explores the boundaries between figurative and abstract art. Dick Bruna’s silk screen prints are the only ones, which were not issued together in a folder. They were printed after the drawings he made for his world famous children’s books, featuring their characteristic simple shapes and bright colours. One single glance is enough to see how strongly Bruna’s work is affiliated with his more abstract fellow artists.