Tamarind Institute is a lithography workshop created in 1970 as a division of the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque, NM. It began as Tamarind Lithography Workshop, a California non-profit corporation founded by June Wayne on Tamarind Avenue in Los Angeles in 1960. Both the current Institute and the original Lithography Workshop are referred to informally as "Tamarind."
Origin and Goals
Tamarind was founded in the absence of an American print shop dedicated to serving artists, and during a period when American artists tended to reject lithography and collaborative printing in favor of the more "direct...immediate" possibilities of Abstract Expressionist painting.
Faced with a paucity of opportunities on all fronts and a medium which seemed on the verge of extinction, Wayne sought to create more than just a studio:
|June Wayne's critical vision--a perception at the core of the Tamarind proposal--was that there were many facets to the problem, none of which could be solved in isolation from the whole. It would be insufficient to entice artists to make lithographs if they could not find opportunities for true collaboration with highly qualified artisan-printers, and it would be insufficient to establish fine workshops without thought to the economic climate in which they might exist.|
Accordingly, Tamarind Institute's website lists the following goals, developed by founding director June Wayne with Associate director Clinton Adams and Technical Director Garo Antreasian in 1960:
- To create a pool of master artisan-printers in the United States by training apprentices;
- To develop a group of American artists of diverse styles into masters of this medium;
- To habituate each artist and artisan to intimate collaboration so that each becomes responsive and stimulating to the other in the work situation encouraging both to experiment widely and extend the expressive potential of the medium;
- To stimulate new markets for the lithograph;
- To plan a format to guide the artisan in earning his living outside of subsidy or total dependence on the artist's pocket;
- To restore the prestige of lithography by actually creating a collection of extraordinary prints.
Tamarind can be credited with single-handedly reviving the medium of lithography, both insofar as they made the medium "respectable" and viable and also in that their dedicated research led to technical and economic breakthroughs with a visible impact on lithography in particular and printmaking in general; e.g., lightfast inks, durable and consistent printmaking paper, precise registration systems, aluminum plate printing, and lightweight, large diameter rollers are but a few important aspects of printmaking which either originated at or were refined by Tamarind. The workshop also established several now-customary procedures for editioned prints, such as precisely recording and documenting every edition, and affixing both a workshop chop and a printer's chop to each proof or impression in recognition of the printer's important role.
Below is a partial list of some of the many artists who have created editions at Tamarind:
- Polly Apfelbaum
- Kinji Akagawa
- Josef Albers
- Squeak Carnwath
- Willie Cole
- Jose Luis Cuevas
- Amy Cutler
- Roy DeForest
- Lesley Dill
- Jim Dine
- Walton Ford
- Sonia Gechtoff
- James Kelly (abstract expressionist artist)
- Akira Kurosaki
- Robert Kushner
- Hung Liu
- Mel Ramos
- Ed Ruscha
- Kiki Smith
- Robert Stackhouse
- Donald Sultan
- June Wayne
- Matsumi Kanemitsu
- Burhan Dogancay
- Jack Boynton
- Hans Burkhardt
In 1985, Marjorie Devon was appointed director of Tamarind Institute. Tamarind continues to produce print editions and to develop educational (printer training) and research programs, including a number of international outreach programs.
- "An Informed Energy: Lithography and Tamarind." Adams, Clinton. First published in Grapheion, Spring 1997.
- Tamarind Institute: Lithography Workshop and Gallery - University of New Mexico.