Art Appreciation Chapter 8: Prints

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Edition
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# of prints determined by an artist to be printed from a single plate
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Relief
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any printing method in which the image to be printed is raised from a background- includes woodcut and linocut i.e. rubber stamp. – most common background (surface) is wood (ink sticks to surface not lines carved into wood). Paper not damp.
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Woodcut
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(first artist draws design onto wood) artist cuts design into wood, the areas not meant to be printed are cut away and ink is laid on top of raised surfaces. Only rising areas take the ink, paper is placed onto block or block onto paper and rubbed to transfer the ink onto the paper making a image. (-a piece of wood is cut along the grain) -existed for hundreds of years w/ wood blocks pressed on textiles – 1st used on paper in 15th c. – w/ invention of printing press & movable type, woodblocks or woodcuts easily used for illustrations – draws image on wood, the areas not meant to be printed are cut away, & ink is laid on top of raised surface, block is pressed onto paper, & image is transferred to paper
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Linocut
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artist cuts into linoleum (a soft rubber-like material) and ink is laid on top of raised surface -linoleum makes it easier to cut than wood, allowing softer edges or curves in the design -limited number of crisp impressions, since the block wears down quickly
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Intaglio
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\”to cut into.\” Artist cuts into metal plate to create a design; includes engraving, etching, aquatint, and drypoint -reverse of relief , areas meant to be printed are below the surface of the printing plate – cuts into a hard material using a sharp tool or acid to make depressions- lines/grooves- in metal plate, then ink flows into the grooves (the surface is wiped clean), & creates the reverse image when pressed onto damp paper (artist can get almost any result they wish, effects ranging from precisely drawn lines to subtle areas of tone)
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Engraving
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– use a burin (sharp instrument) to incise, scratch, or cut into a metal plate. Creates shallow cuts produce a light, thin line, deeper gouges in metal resulting in thinner and darker lines – this is where the ink will be held & paper (through a mechanical process) will be pressed into the grooves, creating an image(design) – ancient technique – traditionally had incised drawings onto mirrors, sword hilts, metal armor, helmets (developed from medieval practice of incising (cutting) linear designs)) -hard to tell a engraving product from a pen and ink drawing (modeling, shading effects achieved through hatching, crosshatching, and stippling)
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Drypoint, burr
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artist uses a drypoint needle to draw onto a metal plate (typically copper).Raised area of metal created by needle is called a ____ (raised area of the metal) which will create a fuzzy, blurry appearance when finished. Or it can be smoothed away for a fine line
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Etching
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– design is bitten into (or cut/incised) plate is covered with acid-resistant ground (made from beeswax, asphalt, and etc). Artist then draws a design onto ground with etching with a sharp tool called a etching needle, that scratches the ground. The plate is put in acid to bite away at exposed metal surface -The darker or lighter lines are dependent on how long the plate remains in contact with the acid. – result is not as sharp as engraving due to the uneven and uncontrolled reaction of the acid bath, but that is also the beauty of the etching
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Aquatint
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\”tinting with water.\” Metal plate covered with acid resistant ground (so acid only eats around resin particles- producing a pitted surface that holds ink eventually- longer acid eats away more ink it will hold, darker it becomes) which is then heated & slightly melts. Artist works in shapes to create design & repeatedly submerges plate in acid while \”stopping out\” certain shapes to create different tones & colors – 1st used in 18th c. – kind of intaglio, like etching, that uses acid to create blocks of color (in grays) -longer acid eats away more ink it will hold, darker it becomes, it is then heated to melt the resin, & like the etching, density of lines (in this case colors- makes ares of tones not lines) will vary depending on length of time in acid bath – artist works in shapes to create tones, beginning with lightest area that is \”stopped out\” which will not be bitten by the acid – repeat process until darkest tone is achieved, resin and stop-out are then scrubbed away using a solvent. – plate is then inked and printed – often combined w/ other printmaking techniques for lines
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Woodcut
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Kathe Kollwitz, The Widow – post WW1 image, series titled War (7 prints)- evoke trauma of war for perspective of those left behind, mainly women – likely pregnant wife who lost her husband in the war – allowed portions of cut away areas of block to print, resulting in a sort of frenzied, agitated or nervous aura surrounding the grieving wife (head bowed, eye casted downward)
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Engraving
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Albrecht Durer, St. Jerome in His Study – enormous amount of realistic depiction of objects through chiaroscuro modeling with the use of hatch, cross-hatching, & stippling -iconography: St. Jerome is noted by his cardinal hat, lion (whom he removed a thorn from his paw) , skull on windowsill (reminder of death), – academic example of linear perspective in an interior space
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Drypoint
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Louise Bourgeois, Spider left burrs in place to produce soft rich blacks of the spider (spider recurring subject matter- symbolized protective, maternal presence) – fuzzy appearance to lines b/c of burr – adds texture, relates to realism of spider with hairy bodies
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Etching
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Rembrandt, Christ Preaching – this is a known, early impression. Later impressions created from worn-down plates (that should have been destroyed) are thus blurry and lack the intention of the artist in the final product – \”line\” is an obvious element to Rembrandt’s technique for etching (shows us light and shading) -scene of Jesus preaching, filled w/ light, illuminated from w/in almost, like he is under a large open roof, surrounded by walls – focus goes from Christ to all the listener’s faces, & to a little boy in foreground who is not paying attention (example of Rembrandt’s ability to humanize any subject)
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Aquatint and drypoint
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Mary Cassatt, Woman bathing – influenced by colors & composition of Japanese prints – soft, tonal colors -flatness of colors, due to process of blocking out areas -line of drypoint for contours
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Screenprinting
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Ed Ruscha, Standard Station
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Printmaking
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allows artists to create multiples of a single image (art of multiples) -requires a surface, then tools used to make the design, and finally the printing process of ink (color) & a press, resulting in a single print or multiples of the same image -allowed unique ptg/sculptures to be reproduced & disseminated to a wider audience
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matrix
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surface on which a design is prepared before transferred through pressure to a receiving surface such as paper
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impression
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printed image left is called _____ (each considered an original work of art and almost identical)
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woodcut
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(8.2) Preface to the Diamond Sutra: portrayed Buddha preaching
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woodcut
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Vasily Kandinsky – title page for Der Blaue Reiter Almanac -depiction of St. George slaying the dragon – emblem of city of Moscow, also associated with book of Revelations (and the apocalypse) – artists believed Moscow was city of Christ’s future reign Kandinsky creates harsh, thick, flat lines (or areas) – aggressive diagonal lines, almost threatening – foreshortened, diagonal horse – thick, wide cuts of wood to create the shapes & lines
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wood engraving
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carving along the grain, the artist cuts into the end of the block of wood. This can make wood engraving blocks very expensive, as to get a large plate one needs a section of unblemished wood from a large hardwood tree trunk or branch. However, wood engravings allow for much greater detail than a traditional woodcut Rockwell kent. Workers of the World -clouds of smoke, man torso, trousers, flames, all defined by fine white lines- narrow channels cut into the block -response to great depression
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linocut
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John Muafangejo (devoted most of his artistic career to line cut)- recurring themes of daily life of regions tribal people (who were restricted to \”home;ands\” established under a system of racial segregation known as apartheid Fig. 8.6 John Muafangejo, Men are Working in Town, 1981 – notice uneven thickness of lines, shapes, cuts
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Mezzotint
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invented in 17th ce by amateur artist named Ludwig Von Siegen- technically a drypoint method. It was the first tonal method to be used, enabling half-tones to be produced without using line- or dot-based techniques like hatching, cross-hatching or stipple. -method for creating tonal areas- areas of gray shading (without line) -works dark to light -first roughen entire plate with a tool called a rocker lighter tones added by smoothing/rubbing out rough spots) to do this artist uses a burnisher (smoothing tool) and scrapes to wear down rough burrs (light areas are areas where burrs are smoothed away)
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Mezzotint
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Example (8.10) Vija Celmain’s Untitled. no other intaglio technique is capable of producing gray scale needed for the chiaroscuro
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Aquatint
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In the Omnibus – 1890-91 – again see effect of harmoniously mixing drypoint (to achieve lines)w/ aquatint for color, – soft, flat areas, vary by degrees of hues – details provided through drypoint lines
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Aquatint
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Goya – Asta su Abuelo – \”And so was his grandfather\” – 1799, ass showing his family genealogy – satire of aristocratic families – less emphasis on line than other printmaking techniques (show areas of tone) – contours/edges still apparent but b/c of layering effect of blocking out shapes in acid bath process – graininess is normal for aquatint b/c of acid (blurriness as in the burr made from drypoint needle)
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Photogravure
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– etching technique for printing photographic images prints tones that shade from light to dark -powder resin to create a plate to hold tone (process of black and white photograph, though color can be printed) intaglio printmaking or photo-mechanical process whereby a copper plate is coated with a light-sensitive gelatin tissue which had been exposed to a film positive, and then etched, resulting in a high quality intaglio print that can reproduce the detail and continuous tones of a photograph. -used to print photographs and photographic reproduction of paintings as book illustration. Example (8.14) Counting, 1991. –contain text and 3 images each having own meaning
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Lithography
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Fig. 8.15) Philip Guston, Curtain, 1981 (ominous and comic) – expressive qualities of black & white lithograph, similar to drawing – line & textures vary
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Lithography, Planographic
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– literally \”writing on stone\” – technique based on principle that water & grease do not mix – invented in late 18th c. by German playwright (Alois Senefelder) who sought a cheaper way to print music (instead of engravings) _______ – meaning a flat surface, not relief or intaglio – artist draws on surface w/ a grease crayon (put in acid solution, fixes/binds the drawing to the stone), moistens the stone w/ water (soaks areas not greased), oil-based ink is rolled over the stone & only adheres(sticks to) to the marks made by the crayon but rolls off the dampened stone – stone is pressed to paper to transfer image
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Lithography
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Henri Toulouse-Lautrec – French painter, printmaker, draftsman, and illustrator, whose immersion in the colorful and theatrical life of Moulin Rouge yielded a feeling of exciting, elegant and provocative images of the modern and sometimes decadent life of those times. (Fig. 10.9) La Goloue – 1891 – cabaret advertisement Jane Avril – 1893 – ad for her cabaret performance -color lithographs can be made by using one stone for each color (outline of image is transferred to each stone using non greasy substance that won’t print example: (8.16) Sing their Songs- -based on poem \”For my People\” -built through repetition
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Screenprinting
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(serigraphy/silkscreen) \”silk-writing\”- style was traditional material Uses stencils, lends itself to very smooth areas of color – screen or silk laid inside a frame, stencil of design placed over & ink pushed through screen onto paper w/ a squeegee usually with glue -markers stop (block) screen areas not meant to be printed – multiple colors can be printed by plugging parts of stencils & using different screen – became popular in U.S. in 1930s b/c it was inexpensive & simple (used for T-shirts, posters, etc) – does not reverse the image, like other printing techniques
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Screenprinting, split fountain
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Ed Ruscha Standard Station – 1966 – multi-colored lithograph -uses ability to produce broad areas of flat color – simplified version of gas station – notice only word is Standard, not standard oil, refers to norm or boring standard of scene – everyday subject, but again, elevated in an almost abstracted way, to elevation of high art -____ _______- creates the 2 tone background, placed on a single screen and their zone of contact is carefully controlled
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Screenprinting
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Probably most famous American screenprinter Andy Warhol Cow Wallpaper – 1966 – play on cow motif, boring animal but traditionally a proud animal in history (strong bull, minotaur, etc.) – yet he colors his bull pink, & creates multiples on yellow background, even further emasculating it by referring to scene (print) as wallpaper – so as a lithograph which is reproduced in multiples, Warhol reproduces the bull/cow motif in the print itself
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a
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Which of the following printing techniques is especially capable of producing subtle shades of gray? a. Mezzotint b. Engraving c. Linocut d. Drypoint e. All these answers are correct.
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Relief, Intaglio, Lithography, Screenprinting
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The four main types of printmaking techniques are:
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lithography
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________ is a planographic technique whereby an artist draws on stone with a grease crayon, rubs it with water, covers with ink, and presses paper onto it for an impression.
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screenprinting
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________ was a common technique used for printing advertisements because it was inexpensive. Unlike the other printmaking techniques, this one does not reverse the image.
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etching
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An _______ is a technique whereby the design is bitten into (or incised) into a plate with acid.
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aquatint
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\”tinting with water.\” Metal plate is covered with acid resistant ground which is then heated and slightly melts. Artist works in shapes to create design and repeatedly submerges plate in acid while \”stopping out\” certain shapes to create different tones and colors.
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engraving
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artist uses a burin to incise lines onto a metal plate to create a design.

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