On the Grid: Ways of Seeing in Print

An abstract book cover design with monochrome stripes

The grid often hides in plain sight, from notepads and spreadsheets to halftone photographic reproductions. It dominates the organization, perception, and representation of the modern world, especially in print. Deeply embedded in a Western worldview, the grid visualizes control, mastery, and order. As an invisible framing device, it has become so pervasive that we habitually ignore it. Yet when artists call our attention to the grid, its layered meanings come fully into view.

Co-published with Scala Arts Publishers, On the Grid: Ways of Seeing in Print surveys photographs, prints, artist’s books, and printed sculptures from the dynamic permanent collections of the Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center at Vassar College and Vassar Library’s Archives & Special Collections.

From 19th-century scientific and portrait photography to avant-garde and conceptual photography; from mid-20th-century Minimalist, Pop Art, and Op Art printmaking to experimental bookmaking and photography in the 21st century, this richly illustrated volume explores how artists have embraced, rejected, and reclaimed the grid. By altering and challenging perception, they offer new ways of seeing the world.

With contributions by Jared Bark, Jessica D. Brier, Lukas Felzmann, Stephen Frailey, John P. Murphy, Werner Pfeiffer, Alison Rossiter, Stephanie Syjuco, Rhiannon Skye Tafoya, and Massimo Tarridas.


Exhibition: August 20–December 22, 2022
Hardback book, 128 pages, 8 x 9 in.

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