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Shahzia Sikander in Present Tense: New Prints, 2000–2005

Present Tense: New Prints, 2000–2005 is an exhibition that celebrates the institution’s 20th anniversary by revisiting works shown at IPCNY in the first five years of its founding New Prints program. From early prints by Julie Mehretu and Beatriz Milhazes to experiments in materiality by Roxy Paine and Melvin Edwards; from the socio-political gestures of Dread Scott and A.J. Bocchino to the technical mastery of Carol Wax and Lothar Osterburg—Present Tense brings together a selection of highlights that reflect just a handful of the practices and players that shaped IPCNY’s early years. It is co-organized by Anne Coffin, IPCNY’s founder and first director; and Deborah Cullen-Morales, currently a program officer at The Mellon Foundation, and previously executive director of The Bronx Museum of the Arts.

“Present Tense has hindsight: these were formative years for a new organization, for a new century, and for artists who were cutting their teeth on printmaking and deepening their commitment to the medium,” says IPCNY director Judy Hecker. “Here, we can re-meet these works that were fresh and formative in their day and remain relevant now.”

In 2000, IPCNY inaugurated its Chelsea exhibition space with New Prints 2000, the first in a free, open-call juried exhibition series designed to democratize access to exhibition opportunities by showing established and emerging artists side by side. Presented between two and four times annually in its early years, the exhibition program had shown some 500 artists by 2005. It aimed to reflect the immediacy, scope, and vitality of print production by the early 2000s, and mapped its networks of workshops, publishers, and printers. IPCNY was also launched in the context of rapidly expanding digital technologies, the post–9/11 political and cultural landscape, and a rapidly shifting and globalizing art world. Representing the vast range of approaches that defines the New Prints program, the works on view in Present Tense contend with identity, migration, materiality, and abstraction as they show how artists navigated the terrain of the early aughts.


Ad Hoc Artists, Polly Apfelbaum, A. J. Bocchino, Richard Bosman, Louise Bourgeois, Vija Celmins, Enrique Chagoya, Phillip Chen, Willie Cole, Francis Crisafio, Melvin Edwards, Wennie Huang, William Kentridge, Joyce Kozloff, Glenn Ligon, Kerry James Marshall, Julie Mehretu, Beatriz Milhazes, Yoshitomo Nara, Chris Ofili, Lothar Osterburg, Roxy Paine, Jimmy Peña, Liliana Porter, Faith Ringgold, Juan Sánchez, Dread Scott, James Siena, Shahzia Sikander, Kiki Smith, Richard Tuttle, Tomas Vu, Carol Wax, and Lisa Young.


In conjunction with Present Tense and the International Fine Print Dealers Association’s (IFPDA) Print Month 2021, IPCNY will co-host two online public programs with the IFPDA. This series explores Polly Apfelbaum and Joyce Kozloff’s defiant embrace of forms traditionally regarded as craft, ornament, and the feminine.