works on paper

from the oklahoma state arts collection


thursday, March 1st, 5-8pm

ON VIEW february 23rd - march 17th

in 2010 The Oklahoma State Arts Council entrusted Artspace at Untitled with a gift of sixty-eight unique prints and drawings by Oklahoma artists in the 1970s and 1980s. These pieces are part of Artspace’s Graphic Arts Resource Center, which includes a wide-ranging collection of works on paper.


ARTSPACE was excited to receive and archive the works on paper, but as we started to remove the mats and coverings we discovered most of the works were damaged so severely it was only possible to preserve the pieces and stop further damage. At the time of their creation in the ‘70s and ‘80s, a general lack of information was available to artists about archival practices so most of the works were framed and mated with wood based materials which were very damaging. Many pieces show discoloration, torn edges, and unsuitable adhesion methods. Such aged works provide beneficial education to artists, students and collectors on proper handling, framing and preserving. The pieces have been displayed without mats to showcase their condition by floating them within the different oversized frames. The exhibition is curated from the collection’s visual qualities, as prints share many characteristics like color, technique and subject matter.  

Works on Paper represents many practices taught in ARTSPACE’s printmaking studio, including screen printing, intaglio, monotypes, dry-point etching, lithography and collage. Due to a strong correlation between drawing and lithography, several pencil drawings from the same gifted collection are displayed alongside the prints. Although a large variety of techniques are shown within the exhibition, screen prints outnumber all other pieces. This is due in part to the resources available to the artists with a lack of print studios and presses, but also to the popular flat and colorful aesthetic of the ‘70s and ‘80s.

Accompanying the works on paper are three large-scale paintings on loan for this exhibition from Anne and Frank Dennis, which are being considered for the State Arts Council Permanent Collection. The Dennis' were leading supporters of the Contemporary Arts Foundations in the 1960's and 70's.

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in addition to the paintings on loan and the works on paper, are original prints from former Artists in Residence for Artspace at Untitled on display in our library gallery. These works are also a part of the graphic arts resource center.

These artists employ many of the same techniques as the older prints that were gifted to our organization. However, there is an obvious difference related to the care and quality of materials used to create these more recent pieces. This juxtaposition illuminates how the processes, materials and methods of printmaking have evolved in Oklahoma, making the art form more accessible and sustainable with each improvement.

Artspace is excited to debut Works on Paper as we continue to educate students and the Oklahoma City community about the unique properties of printmaking and the ensuing connection to drawing.



Art Forum: Works on Paper Panel Discussion
Thursday, March 1st, 6:30-7:30pm
[During the Opening Reception]

Community Spirit: Landfall Press Print Viewing
Thursday, March 8th, 5-7pm


We thank the Oklahoma State Arts Council for its generous gift which made this exhibition possible.