Kenneth E. Tyler master printer Biography

Frank Stella, The Fountain detail, 1992. Gift of Kenneth Tyler 2002. Photo: Marabeth Cohen-Tyler

Kenneth E. Tyler is an American master printer and print publisher. He is known for his contributions to the world of fine art printmaking, particularly in the area of modern and contemporary art.

Tyler was born in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, in 1931. He received his Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the University of Nebraska, and his Master of Fine Arts degree from the University of Iowa. He went on to study at the Stanley William Hayter Atelier 17 in Paris, which was a renowned printmaking workshop that attracted many prominent artists of the time.

Kenneth Tyler and Robert Motherwell discuss “Lament for Lorca” proof as it is pulled from stone on hydraulic lithography press, Tyler Graphics workshop, Bedford Village, New York, 1982.

In 1965, Tyler founded his own printmaking workshop, called Gemini G.E.L. (Graphic Editions Limited), in Los Angeles, California. Gemini G.E.L. quickly became one of the most influential printmaking workshops in the world, collaborating with many well-known artists such as Jasper Johns, Robert Rauschenberg, Roy Lichtenstein, and Frank Stella, among others.

Tyler's contributions to the field of printmaking have been recognized with numerous awards and honors, including the MacArthur Foundation Fellowship and the National Medal of Arts. Today, his work can be found in the collections of major museums and galleries around the world.

Ken Tyler processing lithography stones drawn by Helen Frankenthaler during her 'Reflections' series, Tyler Graphics Ltd., Mount Kisco, New York, 1994.

Kenneth E. Tyler has collaborated with a wide range of prominent artists throughout his career as a master printer and print publisher. In addition to the artists I mentioned earlier, some other notable artists he has worked with include:

David Hockney: Tyler collaborated with Hockney on a number of print series, including the famous "Paper Pools" series.

Ellsworth Kelly: Tyler worked with Kelly on several print series, including the "Suite of Plant Lithographs" and the "Suite of Twenty-Seven Color Lithographs."

Joan Mitchell: Tyler collaborated with Mitchell on a series of large-scale color lithographs.

Claes Oldenburg: Tyler worked with Oldenburg on several print series, including the "Proposed Colossal Monuments for Central Park" series.

Ed Ruscha: Tyler collaborated with Ruscha on several print series, including the "News" and "Riot" series.

Billy Al Bengston (centre) and Ed Ruscha (right) at a party held at Gemini GEL, Melrose Avenue, Los Angeles, February 1968

These are just a few examples of the many artists that Kenneth E. Tyler has worked with over the years. Tyler's collaborations with artists have resulted in many important and influential works of art, and have helped to shape the field of printmaking in the latter half of the 20th century and beyond.

Kenneth E. Tyler master printer