Fred Genis, master lithographer from Holland, worked as a partner in the Hollanders Workshop in New York in the late 60’s, early 70’s. He worked with Robert Rauschenberg, Willem De Kooning, Sam Francis, Jasper Johns, Larry Rivers and James Rosenquist to name a few. A collection of these artists lithographs, plus works from Europe was held at the National Gallery of Victoria titled the ‘Artist’s and the Printer’ in 1982.  

Fred Genis immigrated to Australia with his family and set up his complete two press workshop in Sydney in 1979. He started printing editions with John Olsen and Tim Storrier and continued to work with many more renowned Australian artists, including Brett Whitely and  Lloyd Rees over a period of 30 years until his retirement.

Lithography requires a unique personal collaboration between artist and printer. Fred Genis describes his part in this highly technical process as being ‘like water – quiescent, fluid, unformed, but able at any instant to show, suggest, assist or even withhold’.

Born 5 January 1934 in Amersfoort, Netherlands.

1947-50 Studied lithographic printing under Coen Hafkamp at the Amsterdam Graphic School. Printed for artists at evening classes

1951-54 Worked as commercial printer, plate-maker and photo-lithographer.

1954-56 Lived in Rhodesia and worked as a locomotive fireman on the Rhodesian Railways.

1957-59 Returned to Netherlands and worked as commercial printer, plate-maker and photo-lithographer.

1959-64 Migrated to Australia. Worked as a linesman with the PMG and studied music.

End 1964 Returned to Netherlands, continued music studied and worked as a commercial lithographer.

1965 Emigrated to USA and worked as hotel manager in San Francisco.

1966 Migrated to Brazil and settled in Rio de Janiero. Worked as commercial lithographer.

Mid 1966 Returned to USA and joined Ken Tyler’s newly formed Gemini Ltd lithographic workshop in Los Angeles as a lithographic printer. Printed the White line squares series for Joseph Albers.

1967 Received fellowship from Tamarind Los Angeles and printed lithographs for a series of invited artists including William Gropper.

1967-69 Became Master Printer at Universal Limited Art Editions. New York run by Tatyana Grosman and worked with American artists Robert Rauschenberg, Jasper Johns, (the Target series and Numbers series which are now in the collection of the NGV- National Gallery of Victoria –Australia) Sam Francis, Robert Motherwell, Helen Frankenthaler, Lee Bontecou, James Rosenquist, Larry Rivers and Robert Morris.

1969-72 Joined Irwin Hollander in partnership to form Hollanders Workshop. Worked with John Cage and Lois Long on The Mushroom Book and with John Cage on 2 prints and 8 plexigrams which together form the work What not to say about Marcel, (Duchamp). Also printed for Sam Francis, Wallasse Ting, Pierre Alechinsky, Jean Michel Folon, Don Nice, Louise Nevelson, Saul Steinberg, James Rosenquist and Shiko Manakata. Worked with Willem de Kooning and printed an important series of 27 lithographs with him.

1972-79 Retuned to Netherlands and set up workshop at Oudkerk in Friesland. Printed and published for both European and American artists including Lucebert, Gerrit Benner, Theo Kuijpers, James Rosequist, Don Nice and Mark Tobey who was living in Basel. In 1997 the first exhibition of ‘printers proofs’ was held in ‘t Coopmanshus in Franeker, Friesland. This collection of American prints is now in the NGV.

1977 to end 1978 Employed as Teacher in the Department of Graphics and Design at The Royal Academy of Art and Design, Hertogensbosch, Netherlands December.

1979-81 Emigrated to Australia and settled in Sydney. Brought his entire lithographic workshop and set up in Kenthurst.
Printed John Olsen’s portfolio Down Under followed by works by Tim Storrier and Lloyd Rees, for Port Jackson Press.

Printed the entire lithographic oevres of Lloyd Rees, James Gleeson, John Firth-Smith and Patsy Payne and a substantial number of lithographs by Colin Lanceley, Brian Dunlop, Tim Storrier, John Olsen, Robert Jacks, Donald Friend. Also worked with Judy Cassab, John Coburn, Kevin Connor, Frank Hodgkinson, Kenneth Jack, Hal Missingham, Jeff Rigby, Jan Senbergs, Brett Whiteley, Morion Borgelt and Guan Wei.

1980-82 Employed part-time lecturer in lithography in the print department at Sydney College of the Arts

1982-92 Employed part-time lecturer in lithography at TAFE, Surry Hills.

1982 Loan of American, European and Australian ‘printer’s proofs’ to the NGV resulted in exhibition and catalogue The artist and the printer at NGV July 1982. This entire collection was later acquired by NGV and exhibited 26 August -27 November 1986.

Joint publications of lithographs were undertaken with artists John Firth-Smith, Brian Dunlop, Robert Jacks, Colin Lanceley and Tim Sotrrier. Lloyd Rees portfolios New lithographs, Sandy Bay Set and A tribute to light were published jointly with Lou Klepac of The Beagle Press.

1993 Lithographs from the collection of AGNSW supplemented by loans of mainly ‘printer’s proofs for exhibition from the lithographer’s workshop at AGNSW 22 October 1993 -9 January 1994 comprised 15 years of collaboration with Australian Artists.

1994 – 1999 Moved lithographic studio from Kenthurst to Glebe Point road, Glebe where he continued to print lithographs, some jointly published with Sherman Galleries Sydney.

1997 - 98  Appointed Head of Printmaking at National Art School, Sydney.

1999 Moved to entire workshop from Sydney to Byron Bay Shire in Northern NSW. Continued to work with artists; John Olsen, John Firth-Smith, Sharon Muir, William Robinson, Robert Jacks, Guan Wei, and Tim Storrier.

2006 Officially retired and sold his entire workshop to Julie Chambers who set up the Art Valt in Mildura Victoria.

2010 Tweed River Art Gallery held exhibition of ‘Printers Proofs; From the Fred Genis Collection’ in March.
Gave interview with Akky Van Ogrop (Art historian / Curator) which became an article in Magazine Imprint (Volume 45 number 2, June 2010) titled ‘Fred Genis: Master Printer.’ By Akky Van Ogtrop.

2012 Perc Tucker Regional Gallery in Townsville exhibited ‘Coburn to Whiteley: Master Prints from the Fred Genis Collection’ in September and October.

2016 November – Lloyd Rees lithographic Exhibition at Lone Goat Gallery Byron Bay. NSW

2017 June – Lloyd Rees lithographic exhibition at Art Net Gallery Red Hill. Victoria.

2017 Nov- Dec -Tim Storrier lithographic exhibition at Art Net Gallery Red Hill. Victoria.

2018 February – Lloyd Rees lithographic exhibition at Nexus Gallery, Bellengin. NSW

2018 March – James Gleeson and Guan Wei, lithographic exhibition at Jefa Gallery. Bangalow. NSW