Exhibition information

The 82nd Words and Prints: 33rd Exhibition of Prints from the Tyler Graphics Archive Collection

September 12, 2020 - December 20, 2020

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The oldest known printed materials in existence are woodcut prints of Buddhist scriptures and Buddhist images. As this indicates, prints originally came into being paired with characters or words, and through many centuries prints maintained a deep connection with written language. Even as printing techniques and plate types developed over time, prints continued to be made mainly to serve as book illustrations. They thus were not only a means of artistic expression but simultaneously also a medium for conveying information in the form of religious doctrine or stories, their art aspect complemented by words, and vice versa.
              In the modern era, prints became liberated from their role as a means of transmitting information, and their aspect as an independent form of artistic expression strengthened. In the process, however, their relationship with words seems to have weakened. In the case of contemporary prints especially, where we even find depictions of colossally sized images made possible through use of complex techniques, these seem markedly different from the illustration-oriented prints of the past. Nonetheless, even today printed works in highly expressive and appealing formats – illustrated poetry collections and illustrated books, for example – are made by myriad artists, and in them the relationship between words and prints remains alive.
              In the context of art since the 20th century overall, however, new perspectives have given rise to new relationships with letters and words. In Dadaism of the 1910s, for example, as well as in the pop art and conceptual art that developed under Dadaism’s influence in postwar times, lettering itself was viewed as an image factor; or, motivated by a desire to rethink the relationship between image and language, letters and words were often actively introduced into these works. Such trials were undertaken in the genre of prints also, and here one can detect involvement with words different from that which is present in illustrated poetry collections and the like.
              This exhibition will probe the relationship between words and prints through works gleaned from CCGA’s Tyler Graphics Archive Collection, with a focus on print collections and illustrated poetry anthologies by Helen Frankenthaler and Robert Motherwell, and works featuring writing by Roy Lichtenstein. We hope the exhibition will offer many visitors an opportunity to discover a new aspect of the fascinating appeal of prints.


Miyata 1, Shiota, Sukagawa-shi, Fukushima 962-0711, Japan


10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. (admission until 4:45 p.m.)


Every Monday (Tuesday if Monday is a public holiday), the day immediately after a public holiday (except September 22).


Adults 300 Yen, students 200 Yen.
Free for young children (through elementary school), senior citizens (65 and over) and the handicapped.


DNP Foundation for Cultural Promotion and Center for Contemporary Graphic Art