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By Ben Thomas
For decades Paul Coldwell has used sculpture, drawing, and above all, print to investigate the means and effects of image reproduction and representation. Art historian Ben Thomas charts Coldwell’s manifold processes and influences.
The article “Between Text and Image: Francis Grose’s Rules for drawing caricaturas and its French and German Editions” appears in the May-June issue of Art in Print (Vol.3, No.1). To download and access all articles, reviews and news please log in if you are a member, or subscribe. Subscriptions start at just $38. Art in Print is a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) corporation and relies on your support.
The article “Genji’s World: The Shining Prince in Prints” appears in the May-June issue of Art in Print (Vol.3, No.1). To download and access all articles, reviews and news please log in if you are a member, or subscribe. Subscriptions start at just $38. Art in Print is a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) corporation and relies on your support.
Art in Print is a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) and depends on readers like you. Only a third of our content can be made available for free. Please subscribe to see all articles, reviews and weekly news, and donate to help support Art in Print. Thank you.
By Amy Peltz
For decades it has seemed that the printed comic might be ripe for the kind of art world assimilation enjoyed by photography, video and film, but while “comics” now encompass everything from superheroes to an experimental avant-garde, valorization by art institutions has remained elusive. Read more.
By Faye Hirsch
The products of Nicole Eisenman’s yearlong, intensive foray into printmaking could be seen last spring at both the Whitney and Leo Koenig. On view were more than 60 prints, large and small, in monotype, lithography, woodcut and intaglio. It was as if Eisenman had sprung fully formed and armed from the head of the god of prints.
Albrecht Dürer’s Meisterstiche engravings are so familiar that it is startling to realize that we have no idea how many were made, what percentage have been lost, or how quickly the plates wore down. Angela Campbell and Andrew Raftery have attempted to answer some of these questions by re-making and re-printing a Dürer engraving from scratch.
Coffrets à estampe are mysterious small medieval French boxes with religious prints pasted into their lids. Without the print, the box is just a utilitarian container; without the box, the print would not be upright and vertical like a fixed screen, a pop-up window ahead of its time.
Single-sheet prints of papal conclaves, once both popular and plentiful, provided a public window into the secret and mysterious ritual surrounding the election of a new pope. They blend different genres and cognitive styles, offering us clearly important information in different registers of viewpoint and specificity.
For more than 25 years, Paupers Press in London has been making finely crafted, adventurous, and sometimes eccentric prints with British painters, sculptors and conceptual artists. Their 25th anniversary was recently marked with an exhibition of more than 200 prints at the Gallery in Kings Place, an exhibition space located in the new cultural quarter of Kings Cross in the very centre of London.
Mokuhanga, the richly colored, visually dynamic woodblock technique perfected in Japan in the 18th century, gave us the Ukiyo-e masterpieces of Hiroshige and Utamaro and transformed European painting at the end of the 19th century. After a mid-century eclipse, it is once again a vital tool for contemporary artists around the globe. April Vollmer looks at mokuhanga both inside and outside Japan, and at challenging new prints that combine old and new ways of thinking about multiples.
At the center of the Museum of Modern Art’s “Print/Out” exhibition, in the midst of the bright screenprints and the rough woodcuts, the loud wallpaper and the quiet wallbound etchings, sits a curious construction on a low plinth: two wooden folding chairs face each other as if in conversation, suspending between them an apparatus composed of two black accordion bellows, one sticking up and one dropping down, some pretty brass hinges, and a nifty sliding wooden drawer. It looks like a Surrealist sculpture—an onanistic camera, perhaps. In fact, it is the “portable aquatint box” of the printer and publisher Jacob Samuel, the nucleus of a mobile printshop that he has lugged to artists’ studios around the world.
Enrique Chagoya’s codices are the most intricate and sustained articulation of the artist’s concept of “reverse anthropology,” documents of an alternate world in which the Spanish conquest of the New World failed, and the normative culture of the 21st century is Meso-American rather than Anglo-American.
In the late 1990s, the Department of Prints and Drawings at the Art Institute of Chicago discovered a lost group of 157 enormous hand-stenciled propaganda posters produced during World War II by an art collective of working under the umbrella of the news agency TASS. Intended to boost morale and report on the war, the posters were designed for temporary window display—TASS almost produced one for each day of the war. After more than a decade of study and restoration, the posters went on view this fall in a mammoth exhibition— the first on its subject in English.
As long as there have been prints, they have always been a feature of street life, infiltrating the public arena and playing a part in the urban exchange of information. Graffiti, street art, and their printed progeny, now ubiquitous, may appear to have sprung fully formed from the spray cans and stencils wielded by a new breed of artist, operating outside the system and eschewing the traditions, but like any other art form, street art has a rich vocabulary of sources and precedents that includes not only older print imagery and styles, but an earlier print culture itself.
Matrices, and by extension the prints they produce, have a unique and curious identity in relation to other classes of art objects. In the first exhibition of its kind, “Drawing and Its Double,” presents 58 intaglio printing plates made between1528 to 1988 that prompt a reconsideration of matrices as art, and as objects of value to 21st century scholars, artists and general viewers.
Christiane Baumgartner is that unique figure, a primary printmaker with an international and substantial reputation in contemporary art. British artist and scholar Paul Coldwell discusses Baumgartner’s woodcuts, videos, and her visceral enactment of surveillance.
By Adam Lowe
Giovanni Battista Piranesi, famous for his eminently tasteful Views of Rome, was also a brilliant designer of wildly eclectic decorative objects. Now, some 200 years after his death, these designs have been given three-dimensional form through 21st century scanning and 3D printing technologies. Adam Lowe, of Madrid’s Factum Arte, discusses the thinking and the processes employed and their implications for the ways in which we understand our cultural heritage.
By Deborah Wye
Deborah Wye recently left the Museum of Modern Art after 31 years in the Department of Prints and Illustrated books. In this interview she discusses artists from Picasso to Swoon, and the changing role and understanding of prints, both within the museum and the art world at large.
Lucas Kilian’s 1613 lift-the-flap anatomy prints are some of the most intricate and elaborate examples of early interactive printed objects we have; they allowed Renaissance viewers to (virtually) dissect male and female corpses.