An evolution from the world of art publishing to partner with Sikkema Jenkins & Co.’s Meg Malloy
KNOWN FOR SUPPORTING THEIR ARTISTS AND ARTIST PROJECTS IN ALL OF THEIR ARTISTIC ENDEAVORS, SIKKEMA JENKINS & CO. HAS A STRONG PUBLISHING ARM THAT PRODUCES EDITIONS OF WORKS BY THE GALLERY ARTISTS. THEIR SEPTEMBER EXHIBITION WAS A REFLECTION OF THAT DEDICATION.
Sikkema Jenkins & Co. is pleased to present a selection of editions by gallery artists Jeffrey Gibson, Erin Shirreff, Kara Walker, and Kay Rosen
Jeffrey Gibson’s new series of multimedia prints, feature vivid, screen-printed letters collaged onto a digitally printed background. Adapting lyrics from popular dance songs of the eighties and nineties, Gibson prints highlight the centrality of joy and celebration as a form of strength and resistance for marginalized communities.
Kay Rosen’s edition, The Man, is centered around the idea of formal and textual transformation. Spanning the wall in a series of vinyl letters, The Man composes a narrative based on repeated phrases and wordplay. The body of “The Man” is deconstructed across each line of text, as a series of interconnected linguistic relationships rather than a cohesive singular identity. Rosen’s work utilizes the force of language, or a singular word, to recontextualize language as a visual experience.
Erin Shirreff’s Four Heads diptych appropriates Jean Arp painted wood sculpture Two Heads (1929). Using the printing methods of photogravure and Chine-collé, Four Heads reconfigures the three-dimensional forms and edges of Arp’s sculpture on a two-dimensional plane. By reinterpreting traditional representations of image, form, and dimensionality, Shirreff’s work asks viewer’s how to negotiate the difference between object and photographic representation.
The High Note, The Low Note, The Psychotic and The Judge (2018) by Kara Walker is a painted-laser cut stainless steel sculpture produced as a limited edition for the Camden Arts Centre in London. The High Note features four grotesque faces bisecting one another on two opposing steel sheets. Walker’s work reveals the multiple identities implicated by the horrors of slavery and white supremacy.
A PARTNER AT THE GALLERY AS OF 2003, MEG MALLOY’S FIRST INTRODUCTION AS A PROFESSIONAL IN THE NEW YORK ART WORLD WAS IN PRINT PUBLISHING, WORKING AT THE HIGHLY-RESPECTED CROWN POINT PRESS IN THEIR NEW YORK GALLERY. THIS AFFORDED HER AN INTRODUCTION TO MANY CELEBRATED INTERNATIONAL ARTISTS SUCH AS JOAN JONAS, RICHARD DIEBENKORN AND WAYNE THIEBAUD, AND TO THE HIGHEST STANDARDS OF PRINT PUBLISHING IN DEPTH FIRST AT CROWN POINT AND SUBSEQUENTLY AT THE LEGENDARY EDITION SCHELLMANN.
WITH AN EXTENSIVE BACKGROUND AT DISTINGUISHED PRESSES, MEG MALLOY, PARTNER AT SIKKEMA JENKINS & CO., WAS INVITED TO JOIN THE GALLERY INITIALLY TO EXPAND THEIR ART PUBLISHING DIVISION.
MEG, THANK YOU FOR CONTRIBUTING TO THE LRFA BLOG.
TO CONTINUE, WHAT WAS YOUR FIRST JOB IN THE ART WORLD?
Through Connie, I got a job at Crown Point Press, the San Francisco-based publisher. The amazing Kathan Brown had brought an etching press over from England by boat in the 60s, and revived fine art etching in the U.S. Kathan was quite adventurous and worked with unexpected artists like Joan Jonas and John Cage, as well as more traditional painters like Diebenkorn and Thiebaud. She brought Connie on to include more international artists and Connie had them interview me for a job. Rather than hiring me for San Francisco, they hired the wonderful and much more experienced Valerie Wade – Kathan’s business partner to this day!
They hired me for the New York gallery where I would work for Karen McCready, a legendary print dealer, who had come to Crown Point Press from Pace. It was a terrific place to work and I learned so much. After working at CPP, I went to Edition Schellmann, a German based publisher of prints, multiples and catalog raisonnes. I stayed there twelve years! While at Schellmann, we did a project with Kara Walker, whose work I so admired, and through that project, I got to know Michael Jenkins and Brent Sikkema. They originally brought me in to work on their publishing program. We still do editions as part of our program, the most recent the bronze maquette of Kara’s Tate project.
WHAT IS THE HISTORY OF THE GALLERY? AT WHAT POINT DID YOU COME ON BOARD?
Brent had been a photo dealer in Boston but had moved to NYC in 1991 to open a contemporary gallery in Soho. It was always a gallery I loved. Michael was an artist whose work I admired, and he had also curated shows for Brent. He joined the gallery in 1996. I joined in the beginning of 2002. Brent had taken Kara on at the beginning of her career, shortly after her Drawing Center show, and Vik Muniz also came onboard early. We feel so fortunate that both of these wonderful artists are still with the gallery. In terms of gallery name, the gallery changed its name to Sikkema Jenkins and Co. in 2003. Though I started out overseeing the publishing projects, I quickly got caught up in all the exciting things going on at the gallery and my role expanded. I became a partner in 2003.
WHAT WAS THE CLIMATE OF THE ART WORLD WHEN YOU JOINED? WHAT WERE THE BEST APPROACHES TO PLACING WORKS IN COLLECTIONS?
The art world was much smaller! The print world was especially so, and also very collegial. The AIDS crisis was at its height in the U.S. and the art world’s connection to politics and protest was much closer; there was more urgency. Everyone participated in protests.
In terms of collections, then as now, you would strive to get museum attention for artists, and to place works with collectors who feel some sense of responsibility or connection to the work. Someone who will lend to an exhibition. Someone who will care for the work. These things are constants.
IN OUR NEXT LRFA BLOG, MEG WILL INFORM US OF THE FOCUS OF THE GALLERY AND SOME HIGHLIGHTS OF ITS DISTINGUISHED HISTORY.
PLEASE JOIN US!