Funded by the
Saturday, October 26, 2019
Jordan Schnitzer Awards for Excellence in Printmaking
Presentation of awards to artists Mel Bochner & Matthew Day Jackson, followed by a discussion with philanthropist and mega-print collector Jordan Schnitzer.
Mel Bochner is an American Conceptual artist best known for his text-based paintings. Bochner’s popular thesaurus painting series consists of lists of synonyms displayed in rainbow-colored palettes, often featuring a single word repeated in painterly capital letters, as seen in his seminal piece Blah, Blah, Blah (2008). “My feeling was that there were ways of extending, or re-inventing visual experience, but that it was very important that it remain visual,” he reflected on introducing text into his work. “The viewer should enter the idea through a visual or phenomenological experience rather than simply reading it.” Born in 1940 in Pittsburgh, PA, he earned his BFA from the Carnegie Institute of Technology in 1962. Travelling to New York in 1964, Bochner began working as a guard at the Jewish Museum and settled in the city. Like Eva Hesse, Robert Smithson, and Donald Judd, Bochner experimented with ideas that broke away from the dominate Abstract Expressionism of the early 1960s and developed an ongoing commitment to semiotic representation. His influential critical and theoretical essays on art have figured as a central component to his oeuvre. The artist continues to live and work in New York, NY. Bochner’s works are included in the collections of the Art Institute of Chicago, the Carnegie Museum of Art in Pittsburgh, the Courtauld Institute of Art in London, and the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., among others.
Matthew Day Jackson is an American artist whose multifaceted practice encompasses sculpture, painting, collage, photography, drawing, video, performance and installation. Born in Panorama City, California, in 1974 and currently living and working on the East Coast, his art grapples with big ideas such as the evolution of human thought, the fatal attraction of the frontier and the faith that man places in technological advancement. In particular, his work addresses the myth of the American Dream, exploring the forces of creation, growth, transcendence, and death through visions of its failed utopia. Jordan D. Schnitzer bought his first work of art at age 14, from his mother’s Portland, Oregon contemporary art gallery, evolving into his lifelong avocation as collector. He began collecting contemporary prints and multiples in earnest in 1988. Today, the collection exceeds 13,000 works and includes many of today’s most important contemporary artists. It has grown to be the country’s largest private print collection. He and his Family Foundation generously lend work from the collections to qualified institutions and have organized over 110 exhibitions at more than 150 museums.
The Jordan Schnitzer Family Foundation was established in 1997 as a non-profit organization to manage the collections of Jordan D. Schnitzer and the Jordan Schnitzer Family Foundation, provide supplemental funding for education and outreach in conjunction with related exhibitions, and publish scholarly texts. Since the program's inception, the Foundation has organized over 110 exhibitions and has art exhibited at over 150 museums.