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Bound in pink satin and stamped with a grand gold cartouche, Gert & Uwe Tobias: Dresdener Paraphrasen / Dresden Paraphrases might be mistaken for a reverent tribute to the frothy Rococo of Dresden’s prewar city center, were it not for the small mutant chicken, perched on a curled corner of the cartouche, missing its torso and looking a little dazed.
By Armin Kunz
Prints and the Pursuit of Knowledge, the remarkable exhibition organized by Susan Dackerman offered a timely investigation into the roots of our visual, informational culture. The show’s stupendous catalogue explores the function of the image within the natural sciences in early modern Europe, arguing that, beyond their role as descriptions, images actually made knowledge visible.
The British Museum and The Museum of Modern Art harbor some of the most astonishing print collections in the world, and both have now produced appealing books that aim to be user-friendly introductory guides to the presumptively inaccessible world of prints. That prints are perceived as requiring special knowledge to appreciate is one of the great ironies of the medium whose original raison d’être was to be both popular and populist. Both authors mix obvious choices (Dürer and Rembrandt for the BM, Picasso and Warhol for MoMA) with quirkier and less familiar works. There is, as the saying goes, something new for everyone
On view at the International Print Center New York earlier this fall was an exhibition of prints defined not by a shared theme or by formal congruities, but by a common relationship to the renowned master printer Craig Zammiello. Zammiello, who specializes in intaglio processes, brought technical ingenuity and creativity to each of the projects on view. The exhibition pays homage to the collaborative process that is part and parcel of printmaking today.
The exhibition catalogue “Snapshot: Painters and Photography, Bonnard to Vuillard,” offers readers the chance to view a rare selection of paintings, photographs and prints by seven post-Impressionist artists who established their reputations at the end of the 19th century. The book adds to a growing body of scholarship on the relationships between fine art and photography, each medium informing the other with unique ways of seeing.
By Mark Pascale
Leah Lehmbeck, Associate Curator at the Norton Simon Museum and organizer of the exhibition, has assembled a group of expert authors who together create a groundbreaking portrait of a dynamic period and place, and to some extent rewrite the accepted histories of 20th-century art.
By Jane Kent
For 30 years awareness of these hazards has been growing. Around the world, artists, printers and manufacturers have been busily creating new ways to produce old effects, applying new technologies to old problems, inventing their own recipes and methodologies. Until now, however, most of this information has traveled in various forms, by word of mouth, video or by PDF. Pogue’s book, which he describes as a “studio manual,” fills an essential need, offering a comprehensive, current and well-organized look at new printmaking technologies and, most importantly, the safer use of these technologies for the print practitioner.
Since 1964, the Museum of Modern Art has presented four ambitious surveys of international contemporary prints, each under a different head curator, each more ambitious than the last. The catalogues have grown from something that would fit in your pocket without disgruntling your tailor, to the 236-page coffee-table object that accompanies the latest iteration of these surveys, “Print/Out.” Art in Print looks at all four catalogues and how they reflects the exhibition, the era, and the changing fortunes of the artist’s print.
Altered and Adorned: Using Renaissance Prints in Daily Life is the elegant companion to last summer’s exhibition of the same name at The Art Institute of Chicago. Thoughtfully and cleverly assembled, the show revealed unexpected uses for prints of the 15th- and 16th-centuries. The catalogue carries on this work and helps to illuminate the ephemeral qualities of print, as well as the more lasting concepts that printed multiples can convey to a broader, contemporary audience.
Alex Katz’ detractors see him as a stylish but ultimately decorative chronicler of a certain kind of privileged American life; his supporters see him as a profound investigator of perception and the emotional resonance of form—Ellsworth Kelly with figures. For those who have yet to stake a position, the Albertina catalogue, covering 64 years and including many of Katz’ most famous images, this beautifully produced catalogue raisonné documenting nearly 500 prints made over 64 years offers a profusion of material for consideration.