Since her first solo exhibition in 1935 at the age of seventeen, June Wayne has achieved legendary status among twentieth-century American artists. Best kwn today for her work in and influence on printmaking and fine-art lithography, one of her most rewned achievements was the founding of the Tamarind Lithography Workshop in 1959. Under her direction, this workshop became one of the most important focal points of a general revival of printmaking in the United States - a revival that gave many other famous artists, including Willem de Kooning, Louise Nevelson, and Ed Ruscha, an opportunity to experiment in this format. Her own spectacular prints earned her the estimable title the incontestable pioneer of contemporary lithography. But Wayne's artistic accomplishments are even richer than that. Throughout her career, she boldly explored a variety of media and aesthetic concepts. She worked in painting, tapestry, film, and video, always pushing the limits of the media to develop new techniques. She created optical art long before it had a name and adapted Ben Day dots decades ahead of Pop Art. By the time these styles moved into the mainstream, Wayne was exploring new ideas and forms. The themes of her art are as varied as her styles and methods. Working from such wide-ranging influences as science, space exploration, literature, personal experience, and feminist theory, her work is always among the most exciting, contemporary, and original being produced. Now, for the first time, the astounding range of Wayne's art is available in one comprehensive volume. Bringing together more than 600 examples of her paintings, prints, tapestries, drawings, films, and writings, this beautifully produced catalogue provides a balanced look at Wayne's long and varied career. Two essays, one by Robert P. Conway and the other by Arthur C. Danto, offer scholarly commentary on individual works and address questions of interpretation and significance. Much of the description about the images, however, is provided in Wayne's own words, offering rare personal insights. A deserved tribute to a self-made woman who became one of the twentieth century's most influential artists, this catalogue stands on its own as a comprehensive look at the scope of Wayne's art, while also serving as a supplement to a traveling exhibition scheduled for several venues in 2006-2007.
Robert P. Conway is an independent writer and curator specializing in modern American prints and drawings. He is also founder and director of Without Walls-Museum Multimedia. He lives in Oakland, California. Arthur C. Danto is Emeritus Johnsonian Professor of Philosophy at Columbia University and is an art critic for The Nation.