The Pollock-Krasner House and Study Center opens its second show of the season this weekend with "Innovation and Abstraction: Women Artists and Atelier 17." The exhibition will be on view from August 4 to October 29, 2016. An Opening Reception and Gallery Talk with the curator takes place on Sunday, August 7, 2016 from 5 to 7 p.m. "Innovation and Abstraction: Women Artists and Atelier 17" presents abstract graphics and works in other media by eight artists.

Organized by guest curator Christina Weyl, PhD, co-founder and co-president of the Association of Print Scholars, the exhibition highlights innovative techniques developed at Atelier 17, an experimental printmaking studio in New York City that operated from 1940-1955. Nearly 200 artists made prints there, almost half of them women. The exhibition focuses on a core group--Louise Bourgeois, Minna Citron, Worden Day, Dorothy Dehner, Sue Fuller, Alice Trumbull Mason, Louise Nevelson and Anne Ryan—all who bent traditional printmaking rules and explored uncharted aesthetic terrain in various intaglio and relief printing techniques.

"With the exception of Bourgeois' prints, these artists' graphic works have been largely absent from accounts of postwar American art, despite their having been regularly exhibited in print annuals, museums and art galleries during the period," stated Weyl in an Pollock-Krasner House announcement. "This exhibition is the first time their works have been shown together within the context of women's collective innovations at Atelier 17."

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Atelier 17 in Greenwich Village, 1951. Courtesy of the Pollock-Krasner House & Study Center.

Atelier 17 in Greenwich Village, 1951. Courtesy of the Pollock-Krasner House & Study Center.

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Founded in 1927 in Paris by Stanley William Hayter, Atelier 17 moved to New York at the outbreak of World War II. Many expatriate Surrealist and abstract artists, as well as vanguard Americans—including Jackson Pollock—worked there, attracted to Hayter's experimental approach to graphics. "I want the artists to try impossible, different, unusual methods," Hyater said at the time.

Examples of this experimental approach in the exhibition include Fuller's soft-ground etching, made by impressing lace and a string garlic bag into the plate's surface coating; Ryan's use of a recycled floorboard for her woodblock print; Bourgeois' sculptural treatment of the engraving process; and Nevelson's use of fabric dipped in acid to create etching directly on the plate.

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"Abstract No. XXXII" by Anne Ryan, 1949. Woodcut in color. Brooklyn Museum. © Estate of the artist. Courtesy of the Pollock-Krasner House & Study Center.

"Abstract No. XXXII" by Anne Ryan, 1949. Woodcut in color. Brooklyn Museum. © Estate of the artist. Courtesy of the Pollock-Krasner House & Study Center.

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"Ascension Lente" by Louise Bourgeois, 1949. Engraving with scorper and monotype. Museum of Modern Art, NY. © The Easton Foundation / Licensed by VAGA, New York, NY. Courtesy of the Pollock-Krasner House & Study Center.

"Ascension Lente" by Louise Bourgeois, 1949. Engraving with scorper and monotype. Museum of Modern Art, NY. © The Easton Foundation / Licensed by VAGA, New York, NY. Courtesy of the Pollock-Krasner House & Study Center.

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"Majesty" by Louise Nevelson, 1952-54. Etching and engraving. Brooklyn Museum. Licensed by Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. Courtesy of the Pollock-Krasner House & Study Center.

"Majesty" by Louise Nevelson, 1952-54. Etching and engraving. Brooklyn Museum. Licensed by Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. Courtesy of the Pollock-Krasner House & Study Center.

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In addition to prints, the exhibition includes works in other media for which the artists are better known. This includes sculpture by Bourgeois, Day, Dehner and Nevelson; paintings by Citron and Mason; a collage by Ryan; and a string composition by Fuller.

Works were loaned for the exhibition by the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Museum of Modern Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Brooklyn Museum, Washburn Gallery, Susan Teller Gallery, Cheim & Read and the Dorothy Dehner Foundation. A fully illustrated e-catalog accompanies the exhibition.

After closing at the Pollock-Krasner House, the exhibition travels to the Jane Voorhees Zimmerli Art Museum at Rutgers University, where it will be on view in New Jersey from January 17 - May 31, 2017.

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BASIC FACTS: "Innovation and Abstraction: Women Artists and Atelier 17" is on view from August 4 to October 29, 2016. A Reception and Gallery Talk with the Curator takes place on Sunday, August 7 from 5 to 7 p.m. The Pollock-Krasner House & Study Center is located at  830 Springs Fireplace Rd, East Hampton, NY 11937. www.stonybrook.edu/pkhouse.

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