Current Exhibitions

Series

Prints from Warhol to Wool

Press information

What do artists find so fascinating about series and, even more, about serial repetition in printmaking? Series are open systems; they tell stories, play with rhythm, allow for variations, and document artistic processes. With his famous »Campbell’s Soup« screen prints (1968) and »Marilyn« portraits (1967), Andy Warhol made the serial repetition of images his personal trademark. In the mid-1960s, prints thus became a prime artistic medium for both Pop Art and Fluxus. New graphic techniques such as silkscreen printing and offset, often coupled with bold colours and high-impact motifs, enabled not only large print runs but also a whole new way of manipulating images from the popular print media and advertising. It was not only Pop Art, however, but also Minimal Art and Conceptual Art with their graphic sequences that brought serial printmaking into the spotlight.

The Hamburger Kunsthalle’s Department of Prints and Drawings owns an outstanding collection of print series, which, with the exception of Andy Warhol’s (1928–1987) screen prints, have rarely or never been shown before. The exhibition SERIES now presents for the first time highlights from the collection dating from 1960 to the present that allow the history of this medium to be traced from Josef Albers’s (1888–1976) »Hommage au carré« (1965) to David Hockney’s (b. 1937) cycle »A Rake’s Progress« (1961–63) and onward to Roy Lichtenstein’s »Haystack« series and Christopher Wool’s (b. 1955) 2016 series »Untitled«. A second focus is on recent acquisitions of works by younger artists, such as the series »Mid- Sentence«  (2018) by Nina Canell (b. 1979) and Helen Cammock’s sequence (b. 1977) »Shouting in Whispers« (2017).