Tag Archives: printmaking

The Resurgence of Relief Printing in Early 20th Century America: Woodcuts

Relief prints use the raised relief of a printing matrix, such as a block of wood, to carry the ink to make prints.  A rubber stamp is essentially a relief print.  If you made prints as a kindergartener by carving a potato with a plastic knife, you have made a relief print.  Woodcut is the oldest printmaking technique and was popular in both Asia and in Europe.  It predates the year 1,000 AD. 

In Western art, as early as the 16th century printmakers like Albrecht Dürer saw the short comings of the technique, compared to the slightly newer technique of engraving and intaglio printing.… Read More

Early States & Trial Proofs: A Window into the Mind of the Artist

Every artist works differently and is inspired by different things, but print-making gives us the unique opportunity to view the creative process at work. When an artist makes a print, they create the matrix from which prints can be pulled. This might be a copper plate that has been etched or a lithographic stone that the artist has drawn on with crayon, but the process has an inherent flaw. The finished artwork is an impression from that matrix rather than the matrix itself, so the artist needs to pull an impression in order to know how their art actually looks.… Read More

Whimsy, Wit, and Balance: Alexander Calder at the Height of His Career

Alexander Calder was a prolific artist whose career spanned half a century. He is most renowned for his large colorful sculptures made of abstract forms painted in primary colors. Some of these are mobiles, like the huge one hanging in the central court of the National Gallery’s East Building in Washington, DC, and others are “stabiles” (stationary constructions) like Sandy’s Butterfly which you can see in the sculpture garden at the Museum of Modern Art in New York.… Read More