Information from the museum’s website, 7 April 2016
Graphic Masters: Dürer, Rembrandt, Goya, Picasso, Matisse, R. Crumb features groundbreaking and timeless artists who worked in the medium of printmaking over its 500-year history, including a masterwork by one of the seminal graphic artists of our time.
With over 400 works included, it will be the Seattle Art Museum’s first large-scale exhibition devoted to the graphic arts.
Albrecht Dürer, Francisco Goya, and Pablo Picasso are among the artists who considered printmaking a primary form of expression and experimentation. Dürer’s ambitious Large Woodcut Passion (1497/1510) was one of the first projects to emancipate printmaking from book production and create a market for a new level of collector. Goya’s renowned Caprichos (1799) combined word and image to satirize injustices and corruption in 18th-century Spanish society. In the Vollard Suite (1930–37), Picasso exploited the versatility of the etching medium to create extensive variations on the theme of artist and model.
Visitors can also explore other milestone print series including William Hogarth’s The Harlot’s Progress (1733) and The Rake’s Progress (1735) and Henri Matisse’s Jazz (1947), as well as individual print masterpieces by Rembrandt van Rijn.
The final works in the exhibition are over 200 drawings for The Book of Genesis by celebrated graphic artist R. Crumb. This ambitious contemporary take on the historical tradition of printed book illustrations offers a fresh and original reading of well-known stories and shows how his graphic language goes back to the woodcuts that began the exhibition.