John McWhinnie @ GHB is pleased to present From Inkweed to Haunted Ink: The Beat Greeting Card, a first look into the extraordinary personal collection of the company’s two founders: Beat poet, Kabbalistic scholar, and Lower East Side legend, Lionel Ziprin and his wife and principal collaborator, Joanne Ziprin. The exhibition will open on Wednesday, December 14th with a reception from 6-8pm and run through January 21, 2012.
Endeavoring to claim a share of the booming post-War economy, Joanne embarked on a project to infiltrate that last bastion of good, old fashioned American incorruptibility: the greeting card. Together with Lionel, she founded Inkweed Studios in 1951, and for close to a decade—aided and abetted by a group of like-minded artists (most notably Harry Smith and Bruce Conner)—the company produced hundreds of finely crafted, hand-screened cards for all occasions, their wit and black humor matched only by an incredible attention to detail and color. In the process, Joanne also became a rare and pioneering female entrepreneur in an era dominated by strong, male personalities. Providing a window into one of the most curious and wonderfully cracked attempts at merging Beat sensibility with American consumerism, the exhibition will display a wide range of original cards, artwork, letters, and ephemera from the Inkweed Studios archive.