You’ve Got Mail The Greeting Cards of Richard Anuskiewicz
September 8, 2010 | January 2, 2011
From the mid-1960s up to the early 2000s, the artist Richard Anuskiewicz (born 1930), whose brightly colored and geometric works epitomized Op art, tried his hand at printmaking to complete a commission in 1963 from the Metropolitan Museum of Art to create a series of holiday cards. He screenprinted these cards and became fascinated by this print medium, using it almost exclusively throughout his career. Eventually he became one of the most prolific Op art printmakers, creating a series of annual holiday cards to send to friends. Over the years Dr. and Mrs. Kenneth Prescott, close friends of the artist, were two of 100 lucky recipients of these greeting cards. The Prescotts carefully preserved and documented each card amassing one of the most complete collections of the works; which they subsequently gave to the McNay.
Anuskiewicz’s prints have many of the same characteristics as his paintings, specifically the use of geometric abstraction and the interplay of complementary colors to create visual effects that dazzle the eye. The main difference between his graphic works and his paintings is, of course, scale. With their brilliant colors and precise line work, these small printed jewels have a wonderful, intimate presence. The prints also represent a mini-retrospective of the artist’s work and development over a more than 30-year period. For the first time, these wonderful prints are on view at the McNay.
This exhibition was organized by the McNay Art Museum. Funding is generously provided by the Elizabeth Huth Coates Exhibition Endowment, and the Arthur and Jane Stieren Fund for Exhibitions.