Variations in Print: 15 Tamarind Collaborations highlights Tamarind’s mission to not only preserve and celebrate the fine art of lithography, but also its possibilities to forge connections with artists of other disciplines. For the diverse list above, lithography allowed created new channels for artistic creation. In turn, the perspective of each collaborating artist grew Tamarind’s scope for what lithography could be—artist Judy Tuwaletstiwa’s work involved printing from all six faces of the lithographic stone (as opposed to the traditional method, printed from a single surface), as well as the use of textiles. Lesley Dill’s projects were composed of folded and sewn components. Willie Cole’s work involved the development of the steam iron as a matrix.
In 2012, artist Toyin Ojih Odutola (along with Willie Cole) participated in the Tamarind special project AFRO: Black Identity in America and Brazil at Tamarind. She developed a signature style of rendering skin as topography. Odutola states, “I’m looking for that in-between state in an individual where the overarching definition is lost. Skin as geography is the terrain I expand by emphasizing the specificity of blackness. From there, the possibilities of portraying a fully-fledged person are endless.” During her time in the project, she produced five editions that reflect on the complexities of racial identity, two examples of which will be touring with Variations in Print. Odutola’s tribute portrait drawing of the late Aretha Franklin was The New York Times Magazine’s “The Lives They Lived” issue cover, released December 30, 2018. Her work is in permanent collections of the Museum of Modern Art, Whitney Museum of American Art, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, and Birmingham Museum of Art, among others.
Image: Toyin Ojih Odutola, Birmingham, 2014; four-color lithograph with gold leaf, 24 x 16 1/2 inches; Courtesy Tamarind Institute.