David Zwirner Books Presents The Paris Review Prints
When The Paris Review was founded in 1953 by George Plimpton, Peter Matthiessen, and Doc Humes, it immediately made waves both for its contents and for its design. It was the first literary magazine to give voice to Jack Kerouac and Philip Roth, among many other now famed authors, and, under the directive of children’s book illustrator and art editor William Pène du Bois, legendary artists like Pablo Picasso and Jean Cocteau contributed doodles, self-portraits, and otherwise uninhibited, free-form works that suited the Review's adventurous flair. In the late 1960s, Paris editor Maxine Groffsky brought its covers to life with highly saturated color palettes and abstract graphics, and curator and art editor Richard Marshall—also known for his work at the Whitney—selected paintings and sketches for the publication's covers well into the 1980s.
In 1964, The Paris Review began commissioning prints and posters by major contemporary artists, many of them friends of the magazine. Largely through the efforts of publisher Drue Heinz, who underwrote the series, and of Jane Wilson, who was chosen by Plimpton to direct the program, twenty-three inaugural artists were persuaded to donate signed and limited editions of original work.
Among the initial contributors were Helen Frankenthaler, Ellsworth Kelly, Robert Motherwell, and Andy Warhol. Over the decades, the print series has grown to include the work of more than sixty artists and has garnered consistent critical acclaim. Each print is published in an edition of 60 to 200, most of them signed and numbered by the artist. All have been made especially and exclusively for the publication.
For the latest Viewing Room, David Zwirner Books is pleased to present a collection of works from The Paris Review print series. From the high contrast pigments of Carol Summers to the dark pictorial planes of Louise Nevelson, this Viewing Room includes a broad selection of highly coveted works.
This selection of prints is presented in conjunction with the publication’s annual fund-raising event, The Spring Revel, which celebrates the magazine's writers and provides vital support to carry on the work of The Paris Review.
“When I walked into my new office last June and saw a Warhol waiting for me, I thought, This is incredible. I knew The Paris Review was home to great literature, but we have to spread the word out about our remarkable print series.”
—Emily Nemens, Editor, The Paris Review
—Leo Steinberg, “Reflections on the State of Criticism,” Artforum, March 1972