Kenneth Tyler Biography

Kenneth Tyler




Kenneth E. Tyler, master printer, publisher, and educator, was born in East Chicago, Indiana on December 13, 1931. He studied at the Art Institute of Chicago from 1950 to 1951, and the following year he studied liberal arts at Indiana University. Tyler earned his B.A. degree in 1957 from the Art Institute of Chicago, and in 1963, he earned his M.A. degree from the John Herron School of Art in Indianapolis where he studied lithography with Garo Antreasian.

Tyler received a Ford Foundation Grant in 1963 to study printing at the Tamarind Lithography Workshop in Los Angeles where he worked under technical director Irwin Hollander and the French master printer Marcel Durassier. He served as Technical Director of the workshop between 1964 and 1965.In 1965, Tyler established his own print atelier, Gemini Ltd., at 8221 Melrose Avenue in Los Angeles. From this modest workshop was born Gemini G.E.L. (Graphic Editions Ltd.), which attracted artists such as Josef Albers, Jasper Johns, and Robert Rauschenberg.

Tyler parted ways with Gemini G.E.L. in 1973 and established the Tyler Workshop Ltd. in Bedford Village, New York, later called Tyler Graphics Ltd. In 1987 the workshop relocated to Mount Kisco, New York. Over its twenty-five year history, Tyler Graphics Ltd. collaborated with many artists inlcuding Josef Albers, Anni Albers, Claes, Oldenburg, Masami Teraoka, Ellsworth Kelly, Nancy Graves, Anthony Caro, Robert Motherwell, James Rosenquist, Joan Mitchell. In January of 2000, Tyler retired.Tyler was renowned for printing works on paper that were massive in size. He custom-designed paper and equipment and built his own paper mill, which contributed to a resurgence in the use of handmade papers among printmakers. In 1965, Tyler designed the first of several hydraulic lithographic presses and two years later he received a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts for research and development of paper, embossing, and three-dimensional works. He patented and registered Tycore, a rigid archival honeycomb paper panel in 1978 and a decade later he designed and constructed a computer-controlled, power-driven combination lithography and etching press.

Ken Tyler remains active as an educator and promoter of fine art printmaking, and mentor to a younger generation of printers through his various training and collecting institutions in Singapore, Japan, Australia, and the United States.

The National Gallery of Australia has the largest collection of prints produced at Tyler's successive workshops.


Work Cited:

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