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Fourteen Artists/Fourteen Years: Mahaffey Fine Art


This exhibition celebrates Mahaffey Fine Art, a print workshop that has produced fine prints in Portland since its founding in 1992 by master printer Mark Mahaffey and director Rae Mahaffey. Through its work with artists in the Northwest, from other parts of the country, as well as from other countries, Mahaffey Fine Art has contributed significantly to printmaking both in our community and worldwide. In the tradition of the great print workshops in the United States that emerged in the 1960s, Mahaffey Fine Art provides opportunities for artists, whether printmakers or specialists in other areas of the visual arts, to work with a master printer to realize work in the printmaking media.

Before establishing his studio in Portland, master printer Mark Mahaffey honed his skills at three of the most influential print workshops in the United States: Hand Graphics in Santa Fe, New Mexico; Tyler Graphics Ltd. in New York, and Gemini G.E.L. in Los Angeles. Prior to coming to Portland, Mahaffey collaborated with many important contemporary artists, including Helen Frankenthaler, David Hockney, Roy Lichtenstein, Claes Oldenburg, Robert Rauschenberg, Richard Stella, and Frank Stella. He brought to Portland his vast experience meeting the challenges of projects that often pushed the boundaries of printmaking.

As a collaborator, Mark Mahaffey attends to the unique requirements presented by each artist's project. Specializing in lithography and intaglio, he also affords artists the opportunity to work in collagraph, monotype, and relief. He outsources work in other media such as photogravure and ink jet printing. Through exploring innovative combinations of print media and experimenting with the newest technologies, Mark Mahaffey encourages the expansion of traditional printmaking methods where possible to realize an artist's aims.

Through a selection of approximately sixty-five works, this exhibition focuses on the interaction between the master printer and fourteen artists—one for each year of the firm's existence. Underlying the exhibition's choice of artists is a desire to give a sense of the collaborative process at Mahaffey Fine Art—the range of problems presented by the projects taken on by the workshop and the creative problem-solving brought to bear in meeting the challenges of the projects. The exhibition also attempts to suggest, however imprecisely, the geographical reach of Mahaffey Fine Art, through including projects of artists of local, national, and international reputations. In this way, the exhibition seeks to elucidate the diverse identity of this premier Portland printmaking workshop and its artistic impact in Portland and beyond.

Curated by Annette Dixon

Exhibition Title

Fourteen Artists/Fourteen Years: Mahaffey Fine Art



Curated by

Annette Dixon

Organized by

Portland Art Museum

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