Artists and Bios
Albers, Anni (born Berlin, Germany, 1899-1994)
Anni Albers studied art under Martin Brandenburg in Berlin (1916-1919), at the Kunstgewerbeschule in Hamburg (1919–1920), and at the Bauhaus (1922–1929). She married Josef Albers in 1925 and they both taught at Black Mountain College in North Carolina from 1933-1949. As a textile artist, Albers worked with color relationships and unusual materials. She began making prints in 1963, and worked with lithography, screenprinting, etching, aquatint, and inkless intaglio.
Albers, Josef (born Bottrop, Germany, 1888-1976)
Josef Albers alternately trained and worked at various places in Germany between 1913 and 1919. In 1920 Albers attended the preliminary course at the Bauhaus in Weimar, where he designed stained glass, furniture, metalwork and typography as well as architecture. He was appointed Master in 1925, the same year he married Anni Albers. Both taught at Black Mountain College in North Carolina from 1933-1949. Josef Albers was head of the Design Department at Yale from 1950-1960. He was particularly concerned with the perception of color, line, and form, and was best known for his Homage to the Square series. He created three series of prints for Gemini G.E.L.
Berman, Wallace (born New York, NY, 1926-1976)
A collage artist and poet, Berman studied art in Los Angeles in 1944. In the 1950s and 1960s he was associated with the Beat movement and the experimental West Coast art community. His first exhibition at the Ferus Gallery in Los Angeles in 1957 was closed by the Los Angeles police department when responding to anonymous tips they discovered that one of the pieces in the exhibition contained a drawing depicting sexual intercourse. In the early 1960s he began using a photo-reproductive machine called the Verifax to create photocollages. Berman was killed in a car accident in 1976.
Chamberlain, John Angus (born Rochester, IN, 1927)
A sculptor, painter, printmaker, and film maker, Chamberlain studied at the Art Institute of Chicago from 1950 to1952 and at Black Mountain College in North Carolina from 1955 to 1956. He is best known for his sculptures made from crushed car parts. These works, made from the late 1950s through the mid 1960s, were heavily influenced by Abstract Expressionism and were also associated with the Junk Art movement. In the late 1960s, Chamberlain became interested in film and began using materials such as industrial rubber, plexiglass, and polyurethane in his sculptures. Le Molé, produced in 1971, is the only work Chamberlain created at Gemini G.E.L.
Davis, Ronald Wendel (born Santa Monica, CA, 1937)
Davis experimented with several careers before taking up painting in 1959. He studied at the San Francisco Art Institute from 1960 to 1964. His early monochromatic canvases explored spatial illusion and two-dimensionality. In the late 1960s he experimented with polyester resin on fiberglass to create geometric solids with intense color. By the early 1970s, he had moved on to acrylic on canvas and by the end of that decade was working with computer-generated imagery. Davis’s collaborations at Gemini span 1971 to 1984 and are characterized by the use of geometric constructions, striking color, and sometimes glossy finishes.
Francis, Sam (born San Mateo, CA, 1923-1994)
Francis began painting in 1944 after suffering a painful injury while enlisted in the US Army Air Corps. He then earned a BA in 1949 and MA in 1950 from the University of California at Berkeley. His early works were influenced by Surrealism and Abstract Expressionism as well as by his studies in Paris and travels to Japan during the 1950s. For much of his career, he explored cells of color and their relationship to blank spaces. His work has been characterized as “ceaseless instability” and is heavily influenced by the way light interacts with the environment. He worked with several print workshops in the late 1960s and even set up his own in 1970. His work with Gemini G.E.L. spans from 1966 to 1987.
Goode, Joe (born Oklahoma City, OK, 1937)
Goode attended the Chouinard Art Institute in Los Angeles (1959-1961). He was influenced by Abstract Expressionism and Pop Art. Many of his earlier works explore the use of everyday objects, while later works often include tearing and layering. Goode worked in both painting and printmaking throughout his career. His work at Gemini dates between 1967 and 1985 and reflect the main phases of his body of work.
Graham, Robert (born Mexico City, Mexico, 1938-2008)
Graham graduated from the State University of California at San Jose in 1963 and the San Francisco Art Institute in 1964. His work has explored representation of the human body in various ways. In the early part of his career, he focused exclusively on the nude female form, both in works on paper and in three-dimensional works. His first prints for Gemini, created in 1975, were images exploring the nude female form. His second visit to Gemini in 1984 resulted in a group of three-dimensional sculptures replicating parts of the human body. In the late 1980s and through the 1990s he made several large scale bronze sculptural monuments for various public spaces throughout the U.S.
Hockney, David (born Bradford, England, 1937)
Considered one of the leaders of the British Pop movement, Hockney studied at the Bradford Art School from 1953 to 1957 and at the Royal College of Art from 1959 to 1962. He has worked in painting, drawing, printmaking, and stage design. His subjects include friends, family, and the city of Los Angeles, where he lives, but his work also addresses themes of gay male love and eroticism. Most of the work he created at Gemini between 1973 and 1981 were studies of his friends or of the natural world, although his later works with Gemini, in 1984 and 1994, were more abstract.
Johns, Jasper (born Augusta, GA, 1930)
Johns is generally considered a self-taught artist. With Robert Rauschenberg, he is credited with beginning the transition in American art from Abstract Expressionism to Pop Art and Minimalism. He took the techniques of Abstract Expressionism, but used them with conscious control rather than spontaneity. Johns is known for his use of emblematic, impersonal symbols such as targets, the American flag, numbers, and alphabets, images he refers to as “things the mind already knows”. In his early career he worked mainly in painting and sculpture; printmaking became an important part of his work in the 1960s. His prints use many of the same themes and images seen in his paintings. Of printmaking, he has said, “primarily, it’s the printmaking techniques that interest me … a means to experiment in the technique” and “I like to repeat an image in another medium to observe the play between the two: the image and the medium.”
Lichtenstein, Roy (born New York, NY, 1923–1997)
Lichtenstein studied at the Art Students League in New York, and then earned a B.F.A and M.F.A. from the Ohio State University in Columbus. He taught from 1957 to 1960 at the State University of New York at Oswego. While teaching at Rutgers from 1960 to 1963, he associated with artists involved in happenings and performance art. This encouraged his interest in cartoon imagery, which inspired his distinctive style and subject matter for the rest of his career. Lichtenstein is known as one of the leaders of the Pop Art movement in the U.S. His best-known works are easily recognized by their use of photo-reproductive techniques in painting and lithography and their resemblance to comic strip panels. Some of his Gemini works explore the use of half-tone dots to create an image, a technique inspired by the dots used to create shading in newsprint and comic books.
Oldenburg, Claes Thure (born Stockholm, Sweden, 1929)
Oldenburg studied at Yale University from 1946 to 1950. He was involved in performance art and Pop Art. In the early 1960s he began making large-scale soft sculptures of familiar objects that played with expected characteristics of texture and malleability to create an art of parody and humor. Oldenburg produced several of these sculptures at Gemini, sometimes with accompanied by prints. Many of his themes, as seen in Double Nose/Purse/ Punching Bag/Ashtray, have to do with the multiple meanings of everyday objects.
Price, Ken (born Los Angeles, CA, 1935)
A ceramic sculptor, Price attended the University of Southern California and then the Otis Art Institute, where he was influenced by the development of an Abstract Expressionist vocabulary in clay. Price has consistently created small, richly colored ceramic works, particularly cups, eggs, globular shapes, and tiles. His work at Gemini consisted of two series of prints: the Figurine Cup series and the Interior Series.
Rauschenberg, Robert (born Port Arthur, TX, 1925-2008)
Between 1947 and 1949, Rauschenberg studied art at the Kansas City Art Institute , the Académie Julian in Paris, and Black Mountain College in North Carolina, where studied under Anni and Josef Albers. His career is very closely associated with that of Jasper Johns. Together they are considered to have been instrumental in the transition in American art from Abstract Impressionism to Pop Art, Minimalism, and representational art. Rauschenberg’s works are highly experimental and range from monochromatic paintings to sculptures to “combines” that incorporate both painting and found objects. He made his first prints in 1962 and since then inventive printmaking has been an important part of his career. Rauschenberg has used a wide variety of unconventional materials in his work, from blueprint paper and heat lamps, to solvents for transferring images, to rope and “rag mud.” His work with Gemini includes editions of three-dimensional objects in addition to prints on paper.
Raffael, Joseph (formerly Joe Raffaele) (born New York, NY, 1933)
Raffael attended the School of Art at Cooper Union from 1951-1954, where he was influenced by Abstract Expressionism, and went on to earn his BFA from Yale in 1956. At Yale, he studied under Josef Albers, and was deeply influenced by Albers’s color theories. Raffael was primarily a painter, but has made prints of various kinds throughout his career. Boy Touching Man Touching Upper Lip is the only print he created at Gemini G.E.L. Joe Raffaele changed his name to Joseph Raffael in 1967.
Ruscha, Edward (born Omaha, NE, 1937)
Ruscha developed an interest in Surrealism while in school. After moving to Los Angeles in 1956, he began making collages similar to those of Robert Rauschenberg and Jasper Johns. His work has sometimes been associated with Pop Art, because of his use of everyday objects as materials, but he was also influential in the development of conceptual art. Ruscha worked with Gemini from 1967 to 1990.
Stella, Frank (born Malden, MA, 1936)
Stella began painting while in school at the Phillips Academy, Andover, MA. He attended Princeton University from 1954 to 1958, where he studied history and took painting classes. In 1958 he moved to New York and was inspired by the flag and target paintings of Jasper Johns. Stella emphasized the painting as object rather than as metaphor and attempted to eliminate illusionistic space. Most of his work in the 1960s, in painting, prints, and minimalist sculpture, reflects this idea through the use of geometric shapes and lines. In the 1970s, Stella began experimenting with collage and shifted from the emphasis on flat planes and geometric shapes to graffiti-like paintings that use bas relief and texture. Gemini G.E.L. is where Stella made his first prints at Gemini G.E.L. in 1967; his association with the workshop continued until 1992.