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Welcome to the Print Club: Books from MoMA and the British Museum

  • What is a Print? Selections from
 The Museum of Modern Art

  • By Sarah Suzuki

  • Master Prints Close-Up

  • By Paul Goldman

Both of these appealing books 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. Yet it is undoubtedly the case: it is common enough to hear museum visitors mutter that they don’t know anything about prints as they speed off to the painting galleries. Read More

Conversations from the Print Studio

  • Conversations from the Print Studio:
 A Master Printer in Collaboration with 
Ten Artists

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. Through its focus on the prints developed between one printer and ten artists at Universal Limited Art Editions and Two Palms Press, the exhibition pays homage to the collaborative process that is part and parcel of printmaking today. Read More

Reciprocity: Painters and Photography

  • Snapshot: Painters and Photography, Bonnard to Vuillard

  • Edited by Elizabeth W. Easton; with contributions by Clément Chéroux, Michel Frizot, Todd Gustavson, Françoise Heilbrun, Ellen W. Lee, Anne McCauley, Saskia Ooms, Katia Poletti, Eliza Rathbone, and Hans Rooseboom
While the traveling exhibition “Snapshot: Painters and Photography, Bonnard to Vuillard,” recently completed its international tour, the accompanying catalogue 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 catalogue reveals strong connections between the traditional fine arts and the exciting new technology of photography, but by focusing on the humble snapshot (instantané photographique), the book presents new and unexpected perspectives on the subject. Read More

Proof: The Rise of Printmaking in Southern California

  • Proof: The Rise of Printmaking in Southern California

Though abundantly illustrated, this volume is much more than a souvenir of the images exhibited in the eponymous exhibition [see exhibition review in Art in Print, Volume 1, Number 6]. 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. Read More

Printmaking Revolution: New Advancements in Technology, Safety and Sustainability

  • Printmaking Revolution: New Advancements in Technology, Safety and Sustainability

  • by Dwight Pogue
The “printmaking revolution” detailed in Dwight Pogue’s new book is both radical and benign—Pogue’s subject is the recent wholesale transformation of print technologies to make them less deadly but no less beautiful. The unfortunate truth is that, for all the glories of works like Rembrandt’s etchings or Manet’s lithographs or Jasper Johns’ screenprints, the chemicals involved in their production—benzene, naphtha, asphaltum, bitumen rosin—took a tremendous toll on the neurons, chromosomes, livers and lungs of artists and artisans who produced them. Read More

MoMA’s Print Surveys: 1966, 1980, 1996, 2012

  • Contemporary Painters and Sculptors as Printmakers

  • By Elaine L. Johnson
  • Printed Art: A View of Two Decades

  • By Riva Castleman
  • Thinking Print: Books to Billboards, 1980-95

  • By Deborah Wye
  • Print/Out: 20 Years in Print

  • By Christophe Cherix with Kim Conaty and Sarah Suzuki
In the autumn of 1964, The Museum of Modern Art mounted a show of works by 100 artists under the drily descriptive title “Contemporary Painters and Sculptors as Printmakers.” Two years later, a slim catalogue, barely more than a pamphlet, appeared to accompany a traveling version of the show. It was a modest start to what has become something of a MoMA tradition; a periodic attempt by the head of the print department to say something profound about printed art, in both exhibition and catalogue form. Read More

Print Renaissance

  • Altered and Adorned: Using Renaissance Prints in Daily Life

  • By Suzanne Karr Schmidt with Kimberly Nichols
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. Read More

Still Water: The Prints of Alex Katz

  • Alex Katz Prints—Catalogue Raisonné, 1947-2011

  • Edited by Marietta Mautner Markhof, Gunhild Bauer and Klaus Albrecht Schröder; With texts by Gunhild Bauer, Vivian Bittencourt, Vincent Katz, Marietta Mautner Markhof and Carter Ratcliff
Toward the end of the Albertina’s beautiful new catalogue raisonné of Alex Katz prints there is a simple image, just orange ink on white paper framing the silhouette of a rowboat on still water, glimpsed between narrow tree trunks. Maine Landscape 2 (Fig. 1) is classic Katz—elegantly reductive, formally rigorous, slightly wistful in flavor. Read More

The Poetry of Wallpaper

  • Papiers peints, poésie des murs: Les collections du Musée national suisse/
    Tapeten: Wände sprechen Bände: Die Sammlung des Schweizerischen Nationalmuseums

  • Helen Bieri Thomson et al

Fig. 1. Selection of wallpapers for Château Larlenque, near Toulouse. Part of an architectural project by Edmond Fatio, 1920-1925. Archives d’Etat, Geneva.

After nearly a quarter-century of restoration, Château Prangins near Geneva was both the inspiration and first venue for this book and exhibit on wallpaper. The show was on view at Prangins from October 2010 to May 2011, and will travel to the Swiss National Museum in Zurich in 2012. Read More

The Book as Instrument

  • The Book as Instrument: Stéphane Mallarmé, The Artist’s Book, and the Transformation of Print Culture

  • Anna Sigrídur Arnar
At a moment saturated by discussion about the death of print, as magazines and newspapers fall victim to blogs and the Kindle is the cultural artifact par excellence, it is difficult to grasp the boldly utopian aspirations that Stéphane Mallarmé held for the book in fin-de-siècle France. Read More

Getting Complicated: Joan Snyder Prints

  • Dancing With The Dark: Joan Snyder Prints 1963–2010

  • By Marilyn Symmes, with essays by Faye Hirsch and Marilyn Symmes
Dancing With the Dark: Joan Snyder Prints 1963-2010 is a weighty and substantially proportioned book. Its beautifully printed cover proffers glossy letters afloat on a matte sea of raspberry orbs and translucent inks. Lovely. Which may come as a surprise to those who remember the raw frenzy of Snyder’s prints of the 1980s: the howling figures of Mommy Why? (1983-84), the savage scratches of Things Have Tears and We Know Suffering (1983-84). Read More

English Prints: Looking Over the Overlooked

  • The Print in Early Modern England: An Historical Oversight

  • Malcolm Jones

Fig. 5. Anonymous, Converte Angliam (c. 1685), etching and engraving. British Museum, London, ©Trustees of the British Museum.

Visual culture has never figured prominently in accounts of Early Modern England. Indeed, few historians have fully explored the possibility that printed images might have helped to inspire Shakespeare or Ben Johnson. Thus Malcolm Jones’ massive new book marks an important foray into the overlooked early history of the print in England. Read More

Gauguin’s Paradise Remembered

  • Gauguin’s Paradise Remembered: The Noa Noa Prints

  • Alastair Wright and Calvin Brown
It is not uncommon to hear people say about Paul Gauguin, as they do about Edvard Munch, that his prints are more important than his paintings. This argument is usually predicated on the prints’ visual adventurousness and unfettered experimentalism, qualities frequently subsumed under the headings of ‘authenticity’ and ‘originality.’ Read More

It is Almost That

  • It is Almost That: a Collection of Image & Text Work by Women Artists & Writers

  • By Lisa Pearson
Learning to read art, as Lawrence Weiner long ago exhorted, is not a simple process. Where the textual meets the visual, demands outnumber easy pleasures. It Is Almost That is rich in both challenge and satisfaction. This collection of “twenty-six visionary image+text works by women artists and writers,” in the words of its publisher and editor, Lisa Pearson of Siglio Press, is, as she promises, not a traditional anthology. Read More

The Social Life of South African Prints

  • Impressions from South Africa 1965 to Now: Prints from the Museum of Modern Art

  • Judith B. Hecker
Impressions From South Africa 1965 to Now is a small book that fills a large gap. The catalogue companion to the Museum of Modern Art’s exhibition of the same name, it is not one of those drearily familiar and vaguely voyeuristic printmaking-in-a-distant-land surveys. Instead it is an examination of the social role of prints in a tumultuous time and place as evidenced through the work of 24 artists, 8 artist collectives, and 22 print-producing organizations Read More

The Prints of Terry Frost

  • Terry Frost Prints: A Catalogue Raisonné

  • Dominic Kemp, with contributions by John Hoyland, Stanley Jones, Brad Faine and Charles Booth-Clibborn
Terry Frost (1915–2003)—Sir Terry Frost after his knighthood in 1998—is one of those names that resonates in the British art world but never made many waves on the other side of the pond. A mid-century modernist of impeccable connections, Frost began making art while imprisoned with Adrian Heath in a German POW camp and lived most of his adult life in or near St Ives. Read More

Sixty Years of Australian Art

  • Out of Australia: Prints and Drawings from Sidney Nolan to Rover Thomas

  • Stephen Coppel
One of the most powerful attributes of the print, we are frequently reminded, is its ability to travel. Prints are how artists in Nuremburg knew what artists in Venice were doing; they showed John Singleton Copley in Boston what Sir Joshua Reynolds was up to in London. It can be easy to forget that, more often than not, this traveling is done along well-worn routes, and more frequently in one direction than the other. Read More

The State of the State: Philagrafika 2010

  • The Graphic Unconscious

  • José Roca and the curators of Philagrafika 2010
Back in the year 2000, a dedicated group of print artists, master printers, curators, collectors, educators and dealers came together in the city of Philadelphia. Alarmed by the declining status of prints in the contemporary art scene, their mandate was clear: protect an endangered species. Philagrafika was born. Read More