LAMA BLOG

Specialist Selects: Hamilton Press

June 10, 2020
Joe Goode | Untitled | 1971 | Est.: $1,000-$1,500

Born from the partnership of Ed Ruscha and master printer Ed Hamilton, Hamilton Press has been printing artist editions from Venice, CA, since 1990, emerging as an influential conduit of printmaking in Los Angeles and contemporary art at large. “Ed Hamilton had a hand in printing with almost all of the big artists coming out of L.A. from the ‘60s onwards,” explains LAMA Specialist Clo Pazera, “first as a printer at June Wayne’s Tamarind Lithography Workshop, then at Cirrus Editions, and most recently as co-founder of Hamilton Press with Ed Ruscha.” Our June 7-14, 2020 Modern Art & Design Timed Online Only Auction features a healthy contingent of Hamilton-originated prints spanning from the early 1970s to 1990s, including works by Greg Colson, Joe Goode, and Ruscha.

When Hamilton and Ruscha established Hamilton Press, they had already partnered on roughly 40 prints, marrying Hamilton’s technical prowess with Ruscha’s distinct sensibilities as an artist. The pair chose to set up shop in a small Washington Blvd. (now Abbott Kinney) storefront in Venice, seeking to create an environment where both novice and experienced printmakers could work with the medium in “in a peaceful, unhurried atmosphere.”

Joe Goode & Ed Ruscha | Yesterday’s Treasures | 1989 | Est.: $2,000-$3,000

Hamilton Press expanded in 2001 to include a gallery space to showcase prints made onsite. Over the years, the press’s formidable roster of artists has grown to include Chuck Arnoldi, John Baldessari, Billy Al Bengston, George Condo, Bruce Conner, Llyn Foulkes, Sam Francis, Kim Gordon, Robert Graham, Gronk, George Herms, Paul McCarthy, Ed Moses, Raymond Pettibon, Tom Sachs, Don Suggs, Patssi Valdez, Emerson Woelffer, William Wegman, Beatrice Wood, Jonas Wood, and many, many more.

The Hamilton Press Archive was acquired by the Los Angeles Museum of Art in 2017. The acquisition cemented Hamilton’s role in “helping to uphold Los Angeles’s reputation as a center for lithography, and contributing to the city’s vital and innovative printmaking community,” as LACMA Curator of Prints & Drawings Leslie Jones writes.

Greg Colson | Untitled (1 of 5) | 1990 | Est.: $1,000-$1,500

And though the Hamilton Press lineup is certainly art-star-studded, Los Angeles critic Dave Hickey reminded readers of the populist roots of printmaking in his catalogue essay for Collaboration/Transformation: Lithographs from the Hamilton Press: “We must remember, in short, that printmaking is, and always has been a democratic technology aimed at the private, demotic dissemination of images…the tiny, private production of Hamilton Press, then, perpetuates the democratic aspiration of art for us all.” For artists like Ruscha, then, who are fascinated by mass media, standardization, and cultural transmission, printmaking in Los Angeles reveals itself as a match made in heaven.

Reference:
Hamilton Press. “About.” https://hamiltonpressgallery.com/about/
Hickey, Dave. “Collaboration/Transformation: Lithographs from the Hamilton Press.” Pomona College Museum of Art, 1997.
Jones, Leslie. “New Acquisition: Hamilton Press Archive.” Unframed, 2017, https://unframed.lacma.org/2017/05/01/new-acquisition-hamilton-press-archive.


Lot Information:

Lot 4
Ed Ruscha
Spattership
1990
#11 of 100
Published by Art for Thirteen (WNET-TV), New York; printed by Hamilton Press, Venice
Signed and dated lower right; edition lower left
Image/sheet: 36″ x 27″; Frame: 38.875″ x 29.75″; (Image/sheet: 91 x 69 cm)

Provenance: Sold to benefit future acquisitions at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art

Literature: Edward Ruscha: Editions 1959-1999: Catalogue Raisonné. 1st ed. Vol. II. S. Engberg and C. Phillpot. 1999. #202.

Estimate: $3,000–$5,000
June 7-14, 2020 Modern Art & Design Timed Online Only Auction


Lot 6
Joe Goode & Ed Ruscha
Yesterday’s Treasures
1989
2-color lithograph on Arches 88 paper
#24 of 40
Published by the artists; printed by Ed Hamilton, Hollywood
Signed by Ed Ruscha and Joe Goode and dated in graphite lower right edge of sheet; edition lower left; printer’s blind stamp lower left
Image/sheet: 27″ x 36″; (Image/sheet: 69 x 91 cm)

Literature: Edward Ruscha: Editions 1959-1999: Catalogue Raisonné. 1st ed. Vol. II. S. Engberg and C. Phillpot. 1999. #172.

Estimate: $2,000–$3,000
June 7-14, 2020 Modern Art & Design Timed Online Only Auction


Lot 7
Joe Goode
Untitled (4)
1972
5-color lithograph on Arches paper in four parts
Artist’s proof aside from an edition of 60
Published by Bernard Jacobson, Ltd., London; printed by Ed Hamilton, Los Angeles
Upper left sheet signed and dated in graphite sheet verso; upper right sheet retains edition sheet verso; each retains Cirrus Editions stamp sheet verso
Images/sheets each: 22.5″ x 30″; Overall: 45″ x 60″; (Images/sheets each: 57 x 76 cm)

Literature: Made in LA: The Prints of Cirrus Editions. B. Davis. 1995. 240.

Estimate: $2,000–$3,000
June 7-14, 2020 Modern Art & Design Timed Online Only Auction


Lot 8
Joe Goode
Untitled
1971
8-color lithograph and screenprint on Copperplate Deluxe paper
Artist’s proof aside from the edition of 90
Published by Cirrus Editions, Los Angeles; printed by Paul Clinton and Ed Hamilton, Los Angeles
Signed and dated in graphite lower center sheet; edition with Cirrus Editions blind stamp lower left
Image/sheet: 18.125″ x 29.125″; (Image/sheet: 46 x 74 cm)

Exhibited: “Prints I Published,” Bernard Jacobson Gallery, London, February 13-March 9, 2019

Illustrated: Prints I Published. Bernard Jacobson exh. cat. 2019. 74-75.

Literature: Made in LA: The Prints of Cirrus Editions. B. Davis. 1995. 237.

Estimate: $1,000–$1,500
June 7-14, 2020 Modern Art & Design Timed Online Only Auction


Lot 41
Greg Colson
Group of prints (5)
1990
Lithographs on paper
A, B: Printer’s proof aside from the edition of 15; C, D: Printer’s proof aside from the edition of 20; E: Printer’s proof aside from the edition of 25
Published by the artist; printed by Hamilton Press, Venice
Each signed and dated in graphite lower right; edition with printer’s blind stamp lower left
Largest (A, B): Image/sheet: 14.5″ x 21.5″; Mount: 21″ x 28″; Smallest (D): Image/sheet: 14″ x 10.75″; Mount: 20.5″ x 17.25″; (Largest: 37 x 55 cm)

Comprised of A: Five Signals, State I; B: Five Signals, State II; C: Circled Wagons with Tent; D: Wagon, Tent, Signal; and E: Octopus Connections

Provenance: James Corcoran, Los Angeles, California; UCLA Health (gifted directly from the above)

Estimate: $1,000–$1,500
June 7-14, 2020 Modern Art & Design Timed Online Only Auction

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