Three New (?) Trends in Printmaking

We wanted to share a little musing with you today.  Working with not only our own printmakers but also keeping our finger on the pulse of printmaking in general, we’ve noticed an upswing in several areas of the print world over the past few months/year.  Tell us, are the trends below something you all are noticing as well?  Or perhaps you’ve noticed something else?

"Dance With Me" by Marian Osher, relief monoprint on sculpted canvas

Thinking outside the box–more and more printmakers are breaking out of the traditional rectangular picture plane.  For example, some of Ed McCluney’s intaglios are cut into the shape of the subject they are depicting.  Other of our artists are not only thinking outside the box, but morphing a traditionally 2-D media into 3-D.  We are particularly excited to see Marian Osher’s relief monoprints on sculpted canvas (see example, left) in her March solo exhibition, ART*SPARKS.  Also, next month we even have an entry from Paulette Palacios that is three dimensional.

"Dispersion" Mezzotint by Julie Niskanen

A renewed interest in super work intensive processes–Printmaking in general can take a lot of time, depending on what you’re doing.  However, we’ve noticed in particular a general rise in interest in techniques like mezzotint and wood engraving.  To create a mezzotint the artist (or assistant, if they’re lucky enough), must rock a special tool completely across the plate in about 30 different directions to create that rich, velvety black indicative of the medium.  Also, wood engraving requires intense attention to detail (and patience) to create all those tiny little lines making up the image.

The written word–the combination of visual art and storytelling really is nothing new, we know.  However, up until Clare Winslow and Andy Farkas joined WPG, only Andis Applewhite had been using words with regularity.  We are looking for broadsides (poems accompanied by an illustration) to make a resurgence in popularity here soon.

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