The Printshop has a rich history of 45 years. It was established in 1968, almost by accident, during a prolonged public school teacher’s strike. Artist and educator Eleanor Magid invited local artists and their kids to her studio in the East Village as a kind of home schooling through art. Artists continued to come long after the strike was over.
Realizing the need for a shared studio space, we moved into a city owned loft on East 4th Street, which remained the Printshop’s home until 2005 when we moved to a space that is 5 times larger and better equipped to serve our growing community of artists.
Today, we are a premier New York City printing studio supporting contemporary artists of all career and artistic backgrounds in creation of new work. Support includes facilities, time, education, exhibitions, financial, and technical assistance. Studio space is accessible for artists to work on their own, those who collaborate with the printers, and those who leave their projects for us to produce as contract jobs. Our team includes 3 printers to assist artists, and serve about 160 artists yearly. In the past few years alone, we worked with Hank Willis Thomas, Kara Walker, Enoc Perez, Sebastiaan Bremer, Alison Elizabeth Taylor, Kate Shepherd, Chris Martin, and galleries such as David Zwirner and Sikkema Jenkins & Co.
As Kiki Smith once said, it makes perfect sense for specific art disciplines that there should be large studios with lots of expensive equipment, space, and experts at hand, for artists to flock to, rather than replicate individually. This is what we do for a large artistic community comprised mostly of those who are not printmakers. We help them incorporate some version of printmaking in their practice. And, our approach is inclusive to incorporate techniques such as collage, papermaking, hand painting, even sculpture.
We don’t shy away from fabric, thread, beer cans, wood, glass, kids’ toys, and unique
prints. It makes printmaking fresh, exciting, and approachable, and artists are now readily incorporating it in their work.
View prints by the Lower East Side Printshop here.