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ExhibitionPressing Innovation: Printing Fine Art in the Upper Midwest

Feb 14–May 15, 2022

Pressing Innovation explores the history and work of fine-art printing presses in the Upper Midwest, focusing on each press’s distinct mission and contribution to printmaking in the late 20th and early 21st centuries.

Five presses are featured:

Derrick Adams (American, b. 1970)
Self Portrait on Float, 2019
Woodblock, gold leaf, collage
Transfer from Tandem Press

Landfall Press, founded 1970 in Chicago
Vermillion Editions, founded 1977 in Minneapolis
Island Press, founded 1978 in St. Louis
Tandem Press, founded 1987 in Madison, WI
Highpoint Center for Printmaking, founded 2001 in Minneapolis

Pressing Innovation emphasizes the distinctiveness of each institution; but also traces connections—namely, a network of teachers and master printers—that link the presses in varied ways. Together, this group of presses fits within a much broader history of American printmaking during the last 50 years, and education and research consistently provide the foundation for their origins. This exhibition is the first to synthesize a combined history of fine art presses specific to the Upper Midwest region. The exhibition coincides with the 2022 Southern Graphics Council International conference hosted by UW–Madison.

A wide range of works created by a diverse community of artists—many of whom traveled from the East and West Coasts (centers for the American art trade) to make prints—are represented. The exhibition offers museum visitors and SGCI conference participants alike the opportunity to see and study outstanding examples of printmaking, including recent works that have not yet been widely exhibited or published in scholarly catalogues.

Featured Works

Programming & Financial Support

Generous support for this exhibition is provided by the the Barbara Kaerwer Prints and Drawings Fund and the Brittingham Wisconsin Trust.