Last October, curator Roberta Waddell came to visit the Russell Janis studio. Co-curating Pulled in Brooklyn along with Samantha Rippner for the International Print Center in New York, Roberta came with printed pages in hand from our website featuring artist works made on the Russell Janis press. When searching through our archives to find her selections, Russell by chance pulled out the 20 x 15 Artist Print Portfolio, published in 1997 by Maureen Mahony and Janis Stemmermann. It looking familiar, Roberta recalled that she had acquired the portfolio in 1997 for The New York Public Library's permanent collection. We are pleased to announce the inclusion of the 20 x 15 portfolio in Pulled in Brooklyn, along with selections from our project portfolio In Steps of Folly Cove/ Artist Print Invitational and the Poison Ivy Chair by artist Andy Yoder. The exhibit will be the first in-depth exploration of the vibrant network of artists, printmakers and workshops that has developed and flourished in Brooklyn since the early 1990s.
Co-publishers of 20 x 15, Maureen Mahony and Janis Stemmermann met in the early 1990s living in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. At the time, Maureen was working as a director at Castelli Graphics and Janis had her press set up in a studio on Broadway and Bedford Avenue. They decided to team up and publish a print portfolio among friends and peers. Through a series of studio visits, they invited artists Matthew Abbott, Nicole Eisenman, Ava Gerber, Sean Mellyn and Jonathan Seliger. The diverse practices of the artists required innovative approaches and a host of printmaking methods: etching, aquatint, photogravure, wood block, silkscreen and collage. Printed in 1997 in a limited edition of 36, housed in a custom-made silkscreened portfolio, 20 x 15 has been acquired by The Museum of Modern Art, The Whitney Museum of American Art and The New York Public Library among others.