I n a small cottage on Long Island, in order to support herself and her husband, Maurice, Tatyana Grosman established the studio Universal Limited Art Editions as a retreat for artists and writers to work together beyond the confines of New York City. What began in 1957 as a mission to create and publish livres d’artiste, evolved into a workshop responsible for significant contributions to contemporary printmaking, whose history, in concert with decades of noteworthy collaborations, has established ULAE as an enduring force within print publishing.
For nearly 65 years, ULAE has been responsible for significant contributions to contemporary printmaking.
Early on, Tatyana, emboldened by advice from MoMA curator William Lieberman, realized that there was a greater market for original works than for reproductions. By virtue of lithographic stones found in their front yard, a printing press bought from a neighbor for $15 and fortuitous chance encounters, Tatyana worked with author Frank O’Hara and artist Larry Rivers to create ULAE’s first production, a 13-page book called STONES.
The quality of the book drew the attention of notable artists of the era: Jasper Johns, Robert Rauschenberg, Helen Frankenthaler, Jim Dine and Cy Twombly, amongst others, responded to invitations to visit ULAE, all eager to expand their oeuvre and intrigued by the challenge of printmaking. Moving beyond lithography and silkscreens, ULAE added the practice of intaglio, offset printing and Japanese woodblock in the ’60s and ’70s. Bill Goldston arrived in 1969, eager to innovate; he learned every aspect of the business, eventually taking over in the 1980s after both Tatyana and Maurice passed, gradually shifting the company’s attention to a new generation of artists, bringing more experimentation to the possibilities of prints.
Today, the original vision of Universal Limited Art Editions continues to thrive and their legacy is celebrated by MoMA, whose collection includes the first print from every edition produced. ULAE publishes the work of countless renowned artists such as Carroll Dunham and Terry Winters, exhibits at international fairs, and upholds the importance of placing individualized attention on collaborators. The spirit of creativity and community persists in the original Grosman house on Skidmore Place, where prints are routinely exhibited and where artists and staff join together at daily lunches to relax while discussing current and upcoming projects.
Sotheby’s is proud to partner with ULAE, offering access directly from the publisher, as well as providing an easy solution to purchase through its online Buy Now marketplace.