A Lifetime of Printmaking

Anthony Kirk, Master Printer

Anthony Kirk removing ink from a Frank Stella etching plate. Photo courtesy of Tyler Graphics, Ltd. Marabeth Cohen-Tyler, photographer


It is hard to overstate the extent of Anthony Kirk’s knowledge and expertise in the field of printmaking. With more than four decades of experience printing intaglio and relief editions, Kirk has collaborated with leading artists including Helen Frankenthaler, Robert Indiana, Wolf Kahn, Armin Landeck, Joan Mitchell, James Rosenquist, Kiki Smith, Frank Stella, and Donald Sultan. In addition to tenures at the Robert Blackburn Printmaking Workshop and Tyler Graphics Ltd., Kirk has shared his skills widely through teaching appointments at Bard College, Boston University, Parsons School of Design, and Pratt Graphics Center, to name just a few.

Anthony Kirk
"This ancient technology still holds currency for the contemporary artist and I have never lost my enthusiasm for sharing my passion for the medium."
–Anthony Kirk

Born in Scotland, Kirk received his MFA in Printmaking at the Chelsea School of Art in London. He moved to New York in 1974, where he soon became an apprentice to Robert Blackburn. Celebrated for attracting a diverse and international crowd of artists, Blackburn’s workshop provided Kirk with the opportunity to engage and learn with a vibrant community of artists. In 1988, Kirk was invited by Kenneth Tyler to lead the etching department at Tyler Graphics Ltd., where he developed strong work relationships with Frank Stella, Helen Frankenthaler, and others. Kirk began teaching at the Center for Contemporary Printmaking in Connecticut in 1995 and, upon the closure of Tyler Graphics in 2000, became the center’s artistic director and Master Printer until 2013. In addition to leading CCP, Kirk launched Anthony Kirk Editions in North Salem, New York, in 2000. Not only does he continue to print, Kirk has also curated shows in the space, such as the critically lauded Five Scottish Print Studios.

For Kirk, a primary draw to printmaking is its endurance as an art form: “When I speak publicly about my life as a master printer,” he says, “I usually start a lecture by removing from my pocket a small copper plate covered with a hard ground wax coating and telling the audience that if Rembrandt, Goya, Piranesi or Dürer were to come alive before me now they would each recognize what I am holding, and then they would ask me for etching needles and acid. This ancient technology still holds currency for the contemporary artist and I have never lost my enthusiasm for sharing my passion for the medium.”

Donald Sultan b. 1951

Born in 1951, Donald Sultan is an American contemporary painter from Asheville, North Carolina. He received his BFA from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill and moved to New York City after completing his MFA with the School of the Art Institute in Chicago. In the late 1970s, he rose to prominence as part of the New Image movement in New York with his first solo exhibition in 1977.

Sultan describes his body of work as abstract including large-scale compositions of still life imagery deconstructed into basic forms. His subject matter depicts everyday objects such as fruits, flowers, and playing cards set in rich colors against striking black backgrounds. In an innovative technique, he utilizes industrial materials such as tar and oil on tile over Masonite construction in reference to his North Carolina upbringing. Sultan has also created successful work as a draftsman, printmaker, and sculptor.

His work is included in internationally renowned collections including the Art Institute of Chicago, the Tate Gallery in London, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Tokyo, and the Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris. Sultan lives and creates in New York.

Auction Results Donald Sultan