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Proof: Ruth Lingen, Jennifer Melby, and Leslie Miller

June 27 ‒ August 22, 2014

Trial proof, state proof, artist's proof, publisher's proof, printer's proof. The lives of printers are filled with this vocabulary. For a printer, often the only tangible result of a collaborative project on the press is a proof. 

This summer Planthouse presents a three-person show featuring prints and artist's books made by master printers Ruth Lingen, Jennifer Melby, and Leslie Miller. 

Each of these three printers established a fine art press in New York City in the 1980s, and in over thirty years they have worked with a range of renowned artists. Ruth Lingen specializes in papermaking, letterpress and artist’s books; Jennifer Melby focuses on intaglio processes; Leslie Miller is an expert in woodcut, linocut and pochoir. The material that these women have printed, and sometimes published, can be found in the permanent collections of museums and libraries around the world. Planthouse draws attention to their shared commitment to craftsmanship. As the printer’s role is often overlooked, Proof highlights the remarkable careers of three talented women.

Proof features selected projects from each printer spanning from the 80s to the present. It offers a special opportunity to observe the evolution of fine art printing in New York over the past thirty-five years through the lens of three printers. Projects on view at Planthouse include prints and books made with Joanne Greenbaum, Tom Burckhardt, Mark Tansey, Kamrooz Aram, Vija Celmins, Wayne Gonzales, Joel Shapiro, Robert Gober, Susan Howe, Jim Dine, Cindy Sherman, James Siena, Robert Ryman, Donald Baechler, Jessica Stockholder, Chuck Close, and others. Celebrated works will be on view along with those that have not previously been exhibited.

Ruth Lingen established Pootë Press in 1982, while studying with Walter Hamady and Joe Wilfer in Madison, WI. After moving to New York, she again worked for Wilfer on freelance projects, and later at Pace Prints. She established Pace Paper in 2009, a Brooklyn studio of Pace Prints. She has collaborated with over 70 artists, including Donald Baechler, Chuck Close, Jim Dine, Leonardo Drew, Shepard Fairey, James Siena and Robert Ryman. Her work is in the collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Getty, the Brooklyn Museum, and the Walker Museum, as well as in over twenty libraries. She currently publishes under the imprint of Picture Books.

Jennifer Melby opened her etching studio for contract printing in 1978 on the Bowery and her press is now in downtown Brooklyn. She began publishing prints through Jennifer Melby Editions in 1998. Prints made in her studio are in many contemporary prints collections including the Museum of Modern Art, NewYork Public Library,Whitney Museum, Houston Museum of Fine Art, David- son Art Museum, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art, among others. Artists published by Jennifer Melby areTom Burckhardt, Joanne Greenbaum, Paul Mogensen, Robert Moskowitz, Andrew Spence, Craig Taylor and Nicola Tyson. Collaborations with artists published by galleries include Kamrooz Aram, Eric Fischl, Isca Greenfield-Sanders, Red Grooms, Michael Hurson, Julia Jacquette, Brice Marden, Suzanne McClelland, Sean Mellyn, Sean Scully, and Michele Zalopany.

Leslie Miller founded The Grenfell Press in 1979 in New York’s garment district. Grenfell Press publications are included in many public collections including The Getty Center, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Museum of Modern Art, The New York Public Library, Fine Arts Museum of San Francisco, and The Whitney Museum of American Art. The Grenfell Press Archive is in the Library of Congress.

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