American Abstract Artists 75th Anniversary Print Portfolio

Julian Jackson
American, b. 1953
April Study 7, 2012
Archival fine art digital inkjet print
12 3/4" x 9 3/4"
© Julian Jackson

(January 15 – February 27, 2015)

This spring, the Vanderbilt University Fine Arts Gallery will host American Abstract Artists: AAA 75th Anniversary Print Portfolio, highlighting the American Abstract Artists group (AAA) that was founded in 1936 in New York City at a time when abstract art was not met with great acclaim. The AAA group has produced more than 120 exhibitions in museums and galleries and has print portfolios in major collections worldwide, including the Vanderbilt University Fine Arts Gallery.

The American Abstract Artists: AAA 75th Anniversary Print Portfolio exhibition consists of original works created for this project, all digital prints, and marks a willingness to endorse progressive technologies and to advance an artistic tradition. The resulting portfolio and exhibition reflect an awareness of changing artistic sensibilities in a contemporary and evolving digital era. The previous AAA print portfolios  (1937, 1987, and 1997) were created using more traditional forms of printmaking such as lithography and other plate-based printing methods. The current president of AAA, Daniel G. Hill, explains that “the digital process enabled a wide variety of approaches that include abstract and documentary photography, scanning of flat-work made expressly for the project, digital compositing, and image manipulation, as well as the use of vector-based software and hand-coded algorithms.” Each print is original and has been individually signed, numbered, and dated by the artist.

The exhibition is organized by the Ewing Gallery of Art and Architecture at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, and is accompanied by a catalogue that includes an introduction written by Robert Storr. A member of American Abstract Artists, Robert Storr is a painter, curator, and critic and the dean of the Yale School of Art.