FROM THE EXHIBITION
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The Mixografia® printmaking technique is a unique fine art printing process that allows for the production of three-dimensional prints with elements of relief, texture and very fine surface detail. Since its inception, the Mixografia process has been utilized by many contemporary artists including John Baldessari, Ed Ruscha, Analia Saban, Jonas Wood, Alex Israel, and more. Rufino’s prints are still on view in the Mixografia studio and revered as the foundational work of a master printmaker.
History of Mixografia, Studio and Process
In 1973, Rufino Tamayo was invited to create a series of prints by Taller de Gráfica Mexicana, a print shop founded by the Remba Family whose legacy reaches back to the 1930’s, Mexico City. Tamayo was eager to incorporate aspects of texture and dimensionality into his artwork and agreed to collaborate under the condition that the studio develop a technique that would allow him to produce his prints in relief. The shop rose to the challenge by inventing a process that not only allowed Tamayo to create prints in relief, but also registered the artwork’s texture and very fine surface detail. Unable to use commercial paper for this new kind of printing, the Remba family designed and built special papermaking machinery to use in the studio. The name of the print shop was changed to reflect the name of the medium for which it had become known: “Mixografia.”
Mixografia went on to publish over 80 editions with Tamayo, including the 1983 paper mural “Dos Personajes Atacados Por Perros,” which was printed using the largest conventional lithographic stone in the world, measuring 103 x 63 inches. This stone, on which the artist’s original drawing is still visible, is on permanent view in the Mixografia gallery.
During 1980, the Rembas were approached by Robert Grey, the then dean of the department of fine arts at the University of California, Los Angeles. Grey wanted to organize an exhibition of Mixografia’s prints at UCLA’s Wright Art Gallery. With the success of the exhibition, Grey suggested that the Rembas open a studio in Los Angeles. This space would allow for artists visiting and teaching at UCLA a chance to collaborate with Mixografia and a chance for Mixografia to broaden its reach. So, in 1984 Luis and Lea moved to Los Angeles to open a second location. Soon after, Shaye Remba—the son of Luis and Lea Remba—moved from Mexico City to join his family in California, and Mixografia began operating out of the newly established printmaking facility in Downtown LA. Mixografia still operates out of this location today and has attracted major names in 20th and 21stcentury art. As artists continued to approach the studio with increasingly creative and diverse ideas for Mixografia prints, Shaye built new machinery and developed techniques to fit the needs of each project.
Today the workshop, directed by Shaye Remba, continues to attract major national and international artists. Through its dedication, perseverance and desire to set new standards of graphic art, Mixografia has enriched the Los Angeles artistic community and reached audiences all over the world.
Mixografia has produced over 600 unique editions by 89 artists and has exhibited pieces at institutions around the world including Staadliche Kunsthalle, Berlin; Instituto de Arte Contemporáneo, Lima; Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles; Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid; Museo de Arte Moderno, Mexico City; Georgia Museum of Art, Athens; Museum of Modern Art, New York; Musée d’Art Moderne, Paris; National Museum of Contemporary Art, Seoul; National Museum of Art, Tokyo; Graphische Sammlung Albertina, Vienna; and, the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.
Dimensions of Form: Tamayo and Mixografia is organized by the Bowers Museum in conjunction with Mixografia®. Exhibition-related programming for Dimensions of Form: Tamayo and Mixografia is generously sponsored by the Latin American Arts Council, an affiliate council of the Bowers Museum.