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Saturday, November 28, 2020

A showcase like no other

Audiences will be transported back to the heyday of America’s print-making renaissance and experience works of art by some of the 20th Century’s most exceptional artists in Lichtenstein to Warhol: The Kenneth Tyler Collection, now open at the National Gallery of Australia (NGA).

Drawing on the NGA’s extensive collection of post-war American art, the exhibition showcases some of the giants of the period, including Anni and Josef Albers, Helen Frankenthaler, Jasper Johns, Roy Lichtenstein, Joan Mitchell, Robert Rauschenberg, Andy Warhol, Claes Oldenburg, Nancy Graves and David Hockney.

NGA Director Nick Mitzevich said the national collection had benefited from the foresight of inaugural director James Mollison, who made the first acquisition from Tyler in 1973, as well as significant subsequent purchases, and Tyler’s generous gifts to the Gallery.

“Kenneth Tyler wasn’t bound by convention. He offered these artists – some of the most talented of the era – almost limitless opportunities for creativity and experimentation at his workshop,” Mr Mitzevich said.

The exhibition is curated by the NGA’s Head of International Art, Dr Jane Kinsman, who has a professional relationship with Tyler spanning three decades.

“With his ethos of never say never, master printer and publisher Ken Tyler was able to entice to his workshop some of the most talented artists in America,” Dr Kinsman said.

“Working with Ken was an adventure for many artists and had a lasting impact on their career.”

She said the state-of-the-art workshops Tyler would run were one of a kind, making the NGA’s collection an incredible resource.

“This is a sample of the most extraordinary collection of art from the Tyler collections, it represents the remarkable development in prints and multiples in post-war America.

“Not only do we have the finished work, we also have the mulitples, the proofs, the printing elements and the documentation of the photography.

“This is a real capsule in the progress of making prints post-war. This is a collection that’s not able to be reproduced anywhere else because we’ve got everything,” she said.

Lichtenstein to Warhol: The Kenneth Tyler Collection is on display at the NGA until 9 March 2020; free entry.

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