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This Collection-Based Exhibition Highlights Samuel’s Collaborations with Artists Including Mona Hatoum, Rebecca Horn, Jannis Kounellis, Wangechi Mutu, Barry McGee, and Christopher Wool

Charline von Heyl. Untitled from Black Sun: The Brief Transit and Violent Eclipse of Harry Crosby, 2013One from a portfolio of eight etchings with drypoint, roulette, aquatint, and chine collé. Plate: 7 13/16 × 6 7/8″ (19.9 × 17.4 cm); sheet: 16 15/16 × 15″ (43 × 38.1 cm). Acquired through the generosity of John Baldessari, Catie and Donald Marron, and Mary M. and Sash A. Spencer. The Museum of Modern Art, New York. © 2022 Charline von Heyl

The Museum of Modern Art announces ‘New Ground: Jacob Samuel and Contemporary Etching’, a focused exhibition on the work of master printer and publisher Jacob Samuel (American, b. 1951). On view from October 29, 2023, through March 16, 2024, the exhibition highlights Samuel’s championing of the foundational printing technique of etching, his innovative approach to collaborating with contemporary artists, and works that push the limits of the medium. MoMA began acquiring works published by Jacob Samuel in 1988 and, three decades later, it holds his entire catalogue of more than 60 projects. ‘New Ground’ will selectively draw from this expansive body of work by a diverse range of artists, including Mona Hatoum, Rebecca Horn, Jannis Kounellis, Wangechi Mutu, Barry McGee, and Christopher Wool.

Over the course of four decades, Samuel collaborated with more than 60 artists, traveling extensively to do so. Through a traditional but maximally flexible approach, he was driven to prove that etching could be a successful contemporary medium. The exhibition will draw from a range of these collaborative projects. For example, Samuel made it possible for the artist Rebecca Horn to avoid working in reverse, generally considered a requirement in printmaking, by printing her delicate webs of red lines on custom-made transparent paper, which was ultimately inverted. Moreover, his design and use of a portable aquatint box allowed him to travel to artists’ studios, which allowed Jannis Kounellis to use sculptural processes, not easily transferred to a printshop setting, on copper etching plates. But this belief in traditional processes did not prevent him from embracing other techniques in order to achieve an artist’s vision. Works by Wangechi Mutu and Barry McGee include elements of collage, and are trimmed to the image size, without the expected borders of a printed image. Successive projects with Christopher Wool over the course of over twenty years are particular evidence of a generative partnership. New Ground will highlight Samuel’s breadth of knowledge, historical expertise, and unwavering commitment, which made him an ideal partner for artists new to the medium.

The exhibition will be on view from the 29th of October, 2023, until the 16th of March, 2024. For more information, please visit The Museum of Modern Art.

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