Komar & Melamid
Komar & Melamid
Church, New Jersey
Color monoprint on Rives white, 1991
Edition of 20
Signed in pencil lower right
30 x 52 1/2 inches
Printed at Solo Press Inc., New York
Published by Solo Press Inc., New York
Provenance: G.W. Einstein Company, Inc., New York
This is a monoprint. Since the term is not widely familiar, a bit of explanation is in order. In some sense, a monoprint is a printed painting, one that is typically printed as a series in which each impression is different from the others. It starts with an image of some kind that will appear in each print in the series. That image is altered with each printing by the application of various inks or paint.
Each monoprint will therefore be unique because it will have a different look from the other prints in the series; the differences may be subtle or bold.
This Komar & Melamid monoprint is number 7 of a series of 20. I have only seen one of the other monoprints from this series. That one was so completely different that I did not even recognize it at first as being part of the same Church, New Jersey series.
According to the documentation I have, Judith Solodkin was the printer. The print consists of a lithograph from a photo-plate. The color variations were accomplished by means of the artists drawing on the plate with oil sticks. The Solo Press chop is embossed in the lower right corner.
Komar & Melamid are two Russian-born artists who created a highly unique style of post-modern art in the mid-1960s through the beginning of the twenty first century. Their work was a quirky mix of Pop art, Conceptual art, and Dadaism with a potent satirical edginess.
Komar & Melamid apparently thought of themselves as a kind of art movement rather than just a collaboration of two artists. The artists are Vitaly Komar and Alexander Melamid. They were born in Moscow and attended the Moscow Art School and the Stroganov Institute of Art and Design.
Komar & Melamid moved to the United States in 1978. The artist duo split up in 2003.
Wikipedia provides a nice introduction to their work. For additional information, I would recommend the book Komar & Melamid by Carter Ratcliff; it was published by Abbeville Press in 1988.