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Last updated: 1/25/2017
Home / Gallery Tour 1 /Womanshow 2006 / Gallery Tour 2 / Artists
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Anita Jung (American, b. 1960): Original prints and monotypes

Anita Jung 1 / Anita Jung 2

Jennifer Bartlett, Lynda Benglis, Louise Bourgeois, Jonna Rae Brinkman, Louisa Chase, Chryssa / Sue Coe, Susan Crile,
Lesley Dill, Helen Frankenthaler, Jane Freilicher, Nancy Graves, Harmony Hammond, Judy Chicago,
Anita Jung, Elaine de Kooning, Joyce Kozloff, Lee Krasner, Karen Kunc, Ellen Lanyon, Georgia Marsh, Suzanne McClelland,
Phyllis McGibbon, Joan Mitchell, Elizabeth Murray, Judith Murray, Louise Nevelson, Judy Pfaff,
Jaune Quick-to-see Smith, Joan Root, Susan Rothenberg, Betye Saar, Niki de St. Phalle, Hollis Sigler, Kiki Smith,
Joan Snyder, Pat Steir, May Stevens, Dorothea Tanning, and Emmi Whitehorse

Josef Albers / Richard Anuszkiewicz / Charles Arnoldi / Cyrus Leroy Baldridge / Leonard Baskin / Jack Beal / Ed Baynard
Norman Bluhm / Richard Bosman /James Brown / Alexander Calder / Warrington Colescott / Christo / George Cramer
Allan D'Arcangelo / Willem de Kooning / Richard Diebenkorn /Jim Dine / Sam Francis / Sam Gilliam / Adolph Gottlieb
/Philip Guston / John Himmelfarb / / Robert Indiana / Paul Jenkins / Jasper Johns / Lester Johnson / Alex Katz / R. B. Kitaj
Ellsworth Kelly/ Nicholas Krushenick / Jacob Lawrence / Roy Lichtenstein / Richard Lindner / Manel Llèdos
Robert Motherwell / Reuben Nakian / Barnet Newman / Claes Oldenberg / Jules Olitski / Philip Pearlstein / Mel Ramos
Robert Rauschenberg / Don Reitz / Larry Rivers / James Rosenquist / George Segal / Alan Shields / Steven Sorman
Robert Stackhouse / Frank Stella / Carol Summers / Wayne Taylor / William (Bill) Weege / John Wesley / Tom Wesselman
Jack Youngerman / Adja Yunkers
Anita Jung is the Professor of Intaglio and Print Media in the University of Iowa’s School of Art & Art History (CLAS). While getting her MFA from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, she worked as a fine art printer at Professor Bill Weege’s Off Jones Road Print Shop and the University of Wisconsin’s Tandem Press. Jung’s interdisciplinary collaborative work began as investigations regarding violence toward women. She created several major pieces and events at such venues as SPACES in Cleveland, Ohio, and The Peace Museum in Chicago. She is a trained Rape Crisis Counselor and Domestic Violence Advocate. Through these experiences Jung’s work transitioned to focus upon creative actions intended to build stronger communities and a better world. She directs the Obermann Center ArtCart Working Group, a group striving to create a fellowship program invested in seeking out Iowa artists to preserve their work for future generations. Anita Jung's works of art are semi-autobiographical, deriving their narratives from the everyday. She is particularly interested in materials that transform the mundane into something special that produces a feeling of the familiar but becomes disorienting, a displacement of mind/body and time. She is interested in aspects of the ephemeral, the overlooked, the discarded, the backgrounds of our lives. Through exploring this aspect of the domestic sphere, the manifestation of nostalgia and longing come into focus only to re-dissolve into abstraction. They remain intangible, allusive and fleeting, yet incessantly present. Her art has been exhibited in juried, invitational and one-person exhibitions throughout the U.S. She has also exhibited work in Argentina, Iceland, Puerto Rico, China and most recently in Poland. Her work is in numerous National and International public collections.

As art critic Yoon Soo Lee observed many years ago when introducing an exhibition of her works, “Anita Jung's art has been influenced by her life experiences; an upbringing on Chicago's Irish-Catholic south side, entering adulthood in the southwestern United States to her current parenting adventures in southeastern Tennessee. Her work utilizes printmaking, drawing and painting as media in order to juxtapose images. Her process relates to the concepts in her work dealing with the domestic realm of feminist and religious ideologies regarding veiling (covering/ uncovering), beauty(the decorative), nostalgia, and the cliché. By combining image fragments from art historical, social, personal, botanical and religious symbols she excavates, creates and records secret histories. Anita Jung's works of art are semi--autobiographical, deriving their narratives from the everyday. She is particularly interested in materials that transform the mundane into something special that produces a feeling of the familiar but becomes disorienting, a displacement of mind/body and time. She is interested in aspects of the ephemeral, the overlooked, the discarded, the backgrounds of our lives. Through exploring this aspect of the domestic sphere, the manifestation of nostalgia and longing come into focus and re-dissolve into abstraction. The desired remains intangible, allusive and fleeting, yet incessantly present.

Anita Jung statement: “The role of beauty as well as the human impulse to beautify compels my works of art. The ephemeral nature of beauty, how it intersects with the manifestation of various power structures and binary gender codes and how the minutia of detail poses as the illusion of choice is the heart of my art. Commercially-made print stencils, collage elements and appliqués to denote a return to craft materials I used while growing-up are visible throughout the work. In a broad sense these materials reference women’s involvement in historical and contemporary craft practices. They allude to the secret histories of domestic lives, as well as referencing the tradition of domestic advice.

"Many of us share the suburban memory of craft objects and their association to materials that transformed the mundane into something special. Decoration through its intent has a lack of permanence; it is seasonal, it denotes a passing holiday, occasion or event. How decoration is implemented shows individuality, and personal taste. The motivation that causes us to decorate is fascinating especially when combined with the minimal genius of a hardware store paint chip.

"Embellishment is a way to take notice, to make distinctions, and to appreciate; it is often connected to the bitter sweet and the pure pleasure of beauty. More accurately they are both nostalgic and pretty. Many of the materials I use are visually pleasing in their natural state. Much of our contemporary sense of design and beauty date back to the art of the Renaissance, and I respond to these images because they are of a familiar language. For over a decade Botticelli’s Primavera has particularly captivated my attention. Its layers of symbolism and its prevalence within the consciousness of popular culture makes it a compelling reference.

Her recent work is grounded in the tradition of the readymade and art as an everyday opportunity for transformation. Issues concerning making and waste, relationships between technology, machine and the human hand inform her work. For the past three years she has reclaimed the castoff materials from those using a laser cutter as well as backing boards from a CNC router. She considers this an active collaboration with the quasi-anonymous occupants of the studio where she works. These waste materials generated and mediated through technology record incidental marks from other projects that she then repurposes through printmaking.

"Craft usually implies skill but in my case it has led me to an accessible and rudimentary way of creating repeatable icons. These matrices make no attempt to hide what they are or how a thing was made: their technology is fundamental, immediate and direct, they are the fastest and most available of tools, and their implementation is evident and readily understood. They are irreversibly intertwined and attached to my sense of the feminine, make-believe, memory and sentiment. They are rich with pleasurable references to nostalgia and the cliché.”

Her art has been exhibited in juried, invitational and one-person exhibitions throughout the U.S. She has also exhibited work in Argentina, Iceland, Puerto Rico, China, Poland and India (for details, see lists below). Her work is in numerous National and International public collections. She directs the Obermann Center ArtCart Working Group at the University of Iowa, a group striving to create a fellowship program invested in seeking out Iowa artists to preserve their work for future generations as well as being a founding member of the Printmaking Legacy Project a national organization committed to documenting the history of printmakers for future generations.

Anita Jung's works is in a number of public collection both in the U.S. and abroad. The list includes (alphabetically by location), U.S.: The Huntsville Museum of Art (Huntsville, Alabama); Arizona State University, Department of Art, Tempe, Arizona; Janet Turner Print Museum, California State University, Chico; California, San Francisco State University, California; University of Colorado Special Collections, Boulder, Colorado; Denver Museum of Art, Denver, Colorado; University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida; University of Miami, Coral Gables, Florida; SGC-International Archive, Georgia; University of Georgia Museum, Athens, Georgia; Anchor Graphics, Chicago, Illinois; Milikin University, Decatur, Illinois;Normal Editions Workshop, University Galleries, and Women's Center, Illinois State University, Normal, Illinois; Chase Special Collections Center, Bradley University, Peoria, Illinois; Collum-Davis Library, Bradley University, Peoria, Illinois; Cradle Oak Press, Bradley University, Peoria, Illinois; Heuser Art Center, Bradley University, Peoria, Illinois; Graphic Chemical and Ink, Inc., Villa Park, Illinois; University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, Indiana; University of Iowa Museum of Art, Iowa City, Iowa; University of Iowa Hospital + Clinics, Project Art, Iowa City, Iowa; Fort Hays State University, Hays, Kansas; McNeese State University, Lake Charles, Louisiana; Lily Press, Rockville, Maryland; Pyramid Atlantic, Riverdale, Maryland; University of Minnesota, Minneapolis; Mississippi Museum of Art, Jackson, Mississippi; SGC-International Archive, Oxford, Mississippi; Lauren Rogers Museum of Art, University of Mississippi, University, Mississippi; Washington University, St. Louis, Missouri; Richard F. Brush Art Gallery, St Lawrence University, Canton, New York; Center for Book Arts, New York City; Akron Art Museum, Akron, Ohio; The Kennedy Museum, Ohio University, Athens, Ohio; Butler Museum of American Art, Youngstown, Ohio; Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, Oklahoma; University of Maine Museum of Art; Palmer Museum of Art, University Park, Pennsylvania; Hunter Museum of Art, Chattanooga, Tennessee; Carol Reece Museum, East Tennessee State University, Johnson City, TN; Ewing Gallery of Art and Architecture, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN; HGTV, Knoxville, Tennessee; Tennessee Arts Commission, Nashville, Tennessee; Tennessee State Museum Collection, Nashville, Tennessee; University of Texas, Tyler, Texas; Harris Fine Art Center, Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah; University of Utah, Salt Lake, Utah; Hand Print International Workshop, Alexandria, Virginia; Corcoran, Washington DC; West Virginia University, Morgantown, West Virginia; Lawrence University, Appleton, Wisconsin; Madison AIDS Support Network, Madison, Wisconsin; Madison Art Center, Madison, Wisconsin; Sonic Foundry, Madison, Wisconsin; University of Wisconsin – Madison. Department of Art; University of Wisconsin – Madison. Wisconsin Union; Utah Museum of Fine Arts, Salt Lake City, Utah.

International Collections include: Proyecto'ace Gallery, Buenos Aires, Argentina; RMIT University, Melbourne, Australia; Brussels Bibliotheque Royale Albert I, Department of Prints, Belgium; KIOSKO Galeria, Santa Cruz de la Sierra, Bolivia; Museo Nacional de Arte, La Paz, Bolivia; Museu Nacional de Artes, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada; Hollar Gallery, Prague, Czech Republic; Estonia Academy of Art, Tallinn, Estonia; Dresden Academy of Fine Arts, Department of Prints and Drawings, Federal Republic of Germany; Turku Art Museum, Turku, Finland; Bibliotheque Nationale, Paris, France; Hong Kong Museum of Art, Department of Prints, Hong Kong; Chhaaps Institute for Printmaking Trust, Vadodara, India; Navsar, New Delhi, India; India Habitat Center, New Delhi, India; Academy of Fine Arts, Poznan, Poland; Stichlind Museum, Suriname; National Museum of Trinidad, Trinidad; Zayed University, Dubai, UAE; Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes, Caracas, Venezuela.

We first met Anita Jung in 1989 when she was getting her MFA at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. Several of the faculty in the Art Department recommended her to us as a brilliant and exciting printmaker. When she showed us her work, we quickly agreed. Her work is dense, provocative, challenging, and highly creative; many of her prints pushed the line between original print and original, many others crossed over and became unique mixed-media works. In all of her works, there is a sense of mastery, a feeling of control and purpose, and most achieve a deeply satisfying sense of completeness. When we began showing her work, we quickly found that many viewers shared our feelings, and before she finished and left Madison, we had purchased many of her works and sold a number of them. Normally, we only show works by internationally or nationally prominient artists; in her case, we made an exception and expected her to move into the ranks of the most innovative and aesthetically satisfying printmakers, particularly among the group of those who have a strong sense of what they need to say and who succeed in saying it powerfully. Now, 14 years later, we are showing several of her pieces in our current show next to works by Joan Snyder, Suzanne McClelland, Jennifer Bartlett, and Susan Crile—artists in whose company her works feel quite at home. Another is sharing a wall with works by Hollis Sigler, Helen Frankenthaler, Joan Mitchell, Lee Krasner, and another Joan Snyder. Again, her work fits in very nicely as the work of a master of equal power.
Anita Jung (American, b. 1960), Box. Original color lithograph, 1990. 10 signed and numbered impressions, of which 4 are on buff paper and 6 are on white BFK RIves paper (our impression is on Rives paper). Titled, signed, and numbered 10/10 on the reverse. The text on the front ("Pandora never had a box") is a rejection of the myth that the gods gave Pandora a box and warned her not to open it; she did, letting all evils escape into the world (though she managed to shut it again before hope could escape so that humankind can still hope for better things). The work stands as a rebuttal of the blame that men have heaped upon women throughout history. Image size: 760x565mm. Mat size: 36x28 inches. Price: $1250.

The myth of Pandora is first told in Hesiod's pre-Homeric Works and Days; the richest discussion of the myth throughout art history can be found in Dora and Erwin Panofsky, Pandora's Box (2nd revised edition: NY: Bollingen Series LII, 1956, 1962).
Persephone. Original color monotype with etching and lithograph, 1990. According to Hesiod, Persephone was the daughter of Zeus (Jupiter in Roman mythography) and Demeter (Ceres). Hades, the god of the Underworld, lusted after her, rose up out of the earth, seized her, threw her in his chariot, and took her down to his underworld kingdom. Demeter, the goddes of agriculture, searched unsuccessfuly for her daughter and ultimately refused to allow any plants to grow until Persephone was returned to her. Unfortunately, while she was in the Underworld, she had eaten 6 pomegranite seeds, and so could not return to the upper world. Ultimately, a deal waas arranged so that Persephone would spend half the year above ground and Demeter would allow plants to grow while she was with her daughter, and half the year below with Hades, during which all plants would mourn and nothing would grow, hence winter. We see a dead or slumbering body lower right (presumably Demeter, who is dead to the world during the winter months) and across the top we see a group of black plants, presumably withering away during the winter. Image size: 31.5 x 47.2 inches). $1850.

For those not familiar with this image, probably the most famous illustrations is Botticelli's La Primavera in the Uffizi in Florence Italy). You can see it on their website (or, probably, in every textbbok on Italian Renaissance art) at
http://www.uffizi.org/artworks/la-primavera-allegory-of-spring-by-sandro-botticelli/
The Three Graces. Original compostion combining lithography with hand drawing, 1990. A unique work made as part of a series on the theme of the Graces. In Greek mythology, the three Graces were the daughters of Zeus and Eurynome: Aglaia, the Grace that symbolized Beauty, Euphrosyne, the Grace of Delight and Thalia, the Grace of Blossom. According to the Greek poet Pindar, these enchanting goddesses were created to fill the world with pleasant moments and goodwill. Usually the Graces attended the Greek goddess of Beauty Aphrodite (or Venus in Roman myth and literature) and her son Eros (Cupid) and loved dancing around in a circle to Apollo's divine music, together with the Nymphs and the Muses. The presentation here, however, is rather different: rather than a presentation of gracefulness, we are offered a reminder that the Graces were once considered personifications of different kinds of beauty, but beauty is no longer valued as it used to be and so we see an undifferentiated reminder of the story but without the delight, unless we choose to delight in their transformation. Image size: 570x760mm. Price: $1250.
Coverstone #4. Original color lithograph with hand drawing, 1990. Speaking, as we were above, about the Venus in Botticelli's La Primavera, she makes two appearances in in this monoprint. This work, a gift to us as the artist left Madison WI to begin her career as an assistant professor back in 1990, exemplifies part of the passage from her statement quoted above: "Embellishment is a way to take notice, to make distinctions, and to appreciate; it is often connected to the bitter sweet and the pure pleasure of beauty. More accurately they are both nostalgic and pretty. Many of the materials I use are visually pleasing in their natural state. Much of our contemporary sense of design and beauty date back to the art of the Renaissance, and I respond to these images because they are of a familiar language. For over a decade Botticelli’s Primavera has particularly captivated my attention. Its layers of symbolism and its prevalence within the consciousness of popular culture makes it a compelling reference. Craft usually implies skill but in my case it has led me to an accessible and rudimentary way of creating repeatable icons. These matrices make no attempt to hide what they are or how a thing was made: their technology is fundamental, immediate and direct, they are the fastest and most available of tools, and their implementation is evident and readily understood. They are irreversibly intertwined and attached to my sense of the feminine, make-believe, memory and sentiment. They are rich with pleasurable references to nostalgia and the cliché.” The head of Venus from La Primavera makes two appearances here, and, even submerged as she is in a sea of colorings, mark-makings, and notes, she reminds us that the elegant world for which Botticelli created his painting has been democritized: art is open to all who wish to proceed through the open door of opportunity in into the world of creativity and creation. Image size: 565x760mm. Price: NFS.
The conditions of possibility: Phoenix #4. Original monoprint, 1990. One of a series of twelve unique pieces, each involving etching, lithography, and hand-painting, and collage printed on several papers. The phoenix, as anyone who has taken their children to the Harry Potter series of movies or read them, is a unique creature that dies in a fiery holocaust and is reborn to start a new life. As such, it is a good anolgue to Anita Jung's mode of working in which each work leads to the next while looking back (or at least making its viewers look back) to what came before; as such it is also a good analogue to the way one experiences art in history. Image size: 570x570mm. Frame size: 28x28 inches. Price: $1250.
Decision I. Monoprint with lithography and collage, 1990. This is one of 8 variations on this theme. Signed in pencil lower right and numbered 1/8 bottom center. Titled lower left. On a base of old illustrations from early botanical treatises, Jung has added her own personal marks and collaged several layers of colored tissue paper and embellished the whole sheet with her own drawings. Image size: 695x470mm. Price: $1250.

This (and the three following works) may exemplify Jung's credo above: “The role of beauty as well as the human impulse to beautify compels my works of art. The ephemeral nature of beauty, how it intersects with the manifestation of various power structures and binary gender codes and how the minutia of detail poses as the illusion of choice is the heart of my art. Commercially-made print stencils, collage elements and appliqués to denote a return to craft materials I used while growing-up are visible throughout the work. In a broad sense these materials reference women’s involvement in historical and contemporary craft practices. They allude to the secret histories of domestic lives, as well as referencing the tradition of domestic advice.
Decision I. Monoprint with lithography and collage, 1990. This is one of 8 variations on this theme. Signed in pencil lower right and numbered 7/8 bottom center. Titled lower left. On a base of old illustrations from early botanical treatises, Jung has added her own personal marks and collaged several layers of colored tissue paper and embellished the whole sheet with her own drawings. Image size: 695x470mm. Price: $1250.
Decision 1I. Monoprint with lithography and collage, 1990. This is one of 8 variations on this theme. Signed in pencil lower right and numbered 1/8 bottom center. Titled lower left. On a base of old illustrations from early botanical treatises, Jung has added her own personal marks and collaged several layers of colored tissue paper and embellished the whole sheet with her own drawings. Image size: 695x470mm. Price: $1250.
Decision 1I. Monoprint with lithography and collage, 1990. This is one of 8 variations on this theme. Signed in pencil lower right and numbered 7/8 bottom center. Titled lower left. On a base of old illustrations from early botanical treatises, Jung has added her own personal marks and collaged several layers of colored tissue paper and embellished the whole sheet with her own drawings. Image size: 695x470mm. Price: $1250.

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