Selections from the Collection – KCAI Impressions: H.C. Westermann08/12/2017 - 09/30/2017
KCAI Impressions: H.C. Westermann
As a collaborative venture that joined artists, educators, students, and master printers, KCAI Impressions was an innovative initiative where new works of art were printed at the Kansas City Art Institute in the McKim/Lemon Lithography Workshop, launched between 1964 and 1965 by master printer Jack Lemon, who graduated from KCAI in 1963, and William McKim, a professor of painting and printmaking at the Art Institute.
The workshop was informed by Tamarind Press, founded in 1960 by June Wayne to reawaken the art of lithography in the United States. After graduating from KCAI, Jack Lemon studied at Tamarind prior to beginning the professional workshop in Kansas City, and he was able to implement a unique program that engaged faculty members, students and visiting artists between 1965 and 1968.
The limited editions, or impressions, created in the workshop were donated to the college to form a small teaching collection. Although production within the McKim/Lemon Lithograph Workshop was brief, the workshop itself was among the first of its kind within an American academic setting, and the resultant KCAI Impressions relay an important historical period of printmaking at KCAI and within the United States, when lithography was being rediscovered as a viable and unique art form.
Created at KCAI, this historically significant suite of 5 lithographs by H.C. Westermann represent the artist’s first attempts at lithography and introduce themes that are present throughout the artist’s career. The subjects and motifs here include references to Westermann’s experiences of war while serving on the U.S.S Enterprise during WWII and reflect his interests in popular science fiction, comics, and novels of the 1950s.
KCAI Impressions includes works by Richard Diebenkorn, H.C. Westermann, Peter Saul, Rosalind Drexler, William McKim, Dale Eldred, Wilbur Niewald, Ernst Trova and others.