Karl Blossfeldt

Karl Blossfeldt, Wundegarten Der Natur (Nature's Garden of Wonders), 1932, photogravures, Collection of the Akron Art Museum. Museum Acquisition Fund 

Karl Blossfeldt

Karl Blossfeldt, Wundegarten Der Natur (Nature's Garden of Wonders), 1932, photogravure, 11 in. x 8 1/2 in. Collection of the Akron Art Museum, Museum Acquisition Fund

Andy Warhol

Andy Warhol, Electric Chair, 1971, screenprint on paper, 35 1/2 x 47 7/8 in. Collection of the Akron Art Museum, Gift of Peter M. Brant

Andy Warhol

Andy Warhol, Electric Chairs, 1971, screenprints on paper, 35 1/2 x 47 7/8 in. (each), Collection of the Akron Art Museum. Gift of Peter M. Brant. 1974.1 a-j 

Sol LeWitt

Sol LeWitt, Composite Series, 1970, screenprints on paper, 14 x 14 in. (each), Collection of the Akron Art Museum. Purchased with funds from the National Endowment for the Arts and the John A. McAlonan Trust Fund. 1975.9 a-e 

Sol LeWitt

Sol LeWitt, Composite Series, 1970, screenprint on paper, 14 x 14 in. Collection of the Akron Art Museum. Purchased with funds from the National Endowment for the Arts and the John A. McAlonan Trust Fund. 1975.9 b 

Jacob Lawrence

Jacob Lawrence, For 12 years, John Brown engaged in land speculations..., 1978, screenprint on paper, 14 x 20 in. Collection of the Akron Art Museum. Gift of David and Frances Cooper. 1979.35 c 

Jacob Lawrence

L-R: Jacob Lawrence, John Brown, while tending his flock in Ohio…; For 40 years, John Brown reflected on the hopeless and miserable condition; John Brown, a man who had a fanatical belief that he was chosen by God, all 1978, screenprints on paper, 20 x 14 in. Collection of the Akron Art Museum. Gift of David and Frances Cooper. 1979.35 a - v

Michael Loderstedt

Michael Loderstedt and Craig Lucas, M from Bestiary and F from Bestiary, 1999 - 2000, screenprint and relief on paper, 20 x 26 in. (each), Collection of the Akron Art Museum, Gift of Artists Image Resource

Michael Loderstedt

Michael Loderstedt and Craig Lucas, Bestiary, 1999 - 2000, Screenprint and relief on paper, 20 x 26 in. Collection of the Akron Art Museum, Gift of Michael Loderstedt in memory of Craig Lucas and in honor of Mitchell D. Kahan

Serial Intent

June 3, 2017 - September 10, 2017
Karl and Bertl Arnstein Galleries

Artists sometimes create works of art that are meant to be viewed as isolated, individual masterpieces. They also make artwork with Serial Intent. Similar to the way we experience the world in motion and over time, serial artworks encourage viewing one after another. While they stand alone as works of art, individuals within a series also consciously relate to one another. Together they express additional meaning or concepts that are not apparent in any single component.

Consider Andy Warhol’s 1971 print Electric Chair. A lone photographic image of an electric chair, screenprinted in vivid red and yellow with emphatic brushstrokes over the surface, emphasizes the subject matter. The gestural crimson evokes the violent symbolism of this well-used execution tool. However, when presented as one of multiple iterations of the same image, each printed in unique and vibrant color combinations, the subject matter loses its singular poignancy amidst the colorful array. The chair operates as an element in a pattern rather than as a compelling focal point. In Electric Chair and works in which gruesome newspaper photographs are reproduced multiple times, Warhol mimics the proliferation of repetitious imagery by mass media. The serial nature of Electric Chair calls to mind our tendency to become desensitized by the torrent of reproduced images we experience daily.

Serial Intent presents ten of Warhol’s Electric Chair prints as well as groupings from several print, drawing and photography series held in the Akron Art Museum collection. Artists include Robert Indiana, Jacob Lawrence, Sol LeWitt, Michael Loderstedt, Craig Lucas and Karl Blossfeldt, among others. The exhibition offers opportunities to experience these multi-part artworks within the serial contexts intended by the artists who created them.

Serial Intent is organized by the Akron Art Museum.