Art Intelligence: Jan Svenungsson on Making and Thinking

Book Review

  • Making Prints and Thinking About It

  • Jan Svenungsson
  • 196 pages
  • Walter de Gruyter, Berlin, 2019
  • $34.99

Hard to categorize, this deft book by the Swedish artist Jan Svenungsson should be read by everyone involved with contemporary prints, whether as makers or viewers. In some ways it is a cousin to Jim Dine’s A Printmaker’s Document [see Art in Print Jul–Aug 2013]—both books proceed through project-by-project accounts of successes and failures, and for Svenungsson, as for Dine, printmaking is a collaborative adventure dependent on the creative skills and compatibility of master printers, rather than a one-man-and-his-press saga. But where Dine gives us an episodic fan letter to techniques and printers, Svenungsson walks us through his attempt to figure out what it is—structurally, materially and psychologically—that makes prints matter. The result is a thoughtful, jargon-free inquiry into making and viewing art right now. It is also smart, funny and a pleasure to read.

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