The University of Tennessee, Knoxville

printmaking


An Annotated Bibliography for Contemporary Printmaking

This bibliography was developed from the panel session “Syntax of the Print Revisited” held at the 2008 Southern Graphics Council Conference, Virginia Commonwealth University. Chaired by Beauvais Lyons, the session included papers by Shaurya Kumar, Hugh Merrill and Ruth Weisberg. The session examined Weisberg’s article “Syntax of the Print: A Search for Aesthetic Content” published in The Tamarind Papers in the Fall of 1984. While many aspects of the article still have relevance for artists working in print media today, since its publication printmaking has evolved to include digital methods, installation (or “printstallations”), relational approaches that involve new audiences and modes of production, increased use of monoprinting and variable editions, and new approaches to collaborative practice. One core issue discussed during the session was whether there are aesthetic criteria specific to print media, and whether these are best understood through consideration of the categories of function, process and materials. Organized chronologically, this annotated bibliography is intended to provide a set of readings to inform practice in contemporary print media. As printmaking intersects many other disciplines, this bibliography includes books and articles that are not strictly about printmaking, but inform its theories and practices. Like any bibliography, this is a work in progress, and suggestions regarding additional entries that should be included are welcome. In an effort to stress books that address a broad set of issues related to printmaking, and to limit the size of the bibliography, it does not include books devoted to the art of an individual artist or workshop or which are specifically technical. Some standard but excellent books such as The Tamarind Book of Lithography and The Complete Printmaker were not included because of their emphasis on the materials and processes of printmaking. In addition to members of the panel, several people reviewed the bibliography and offered suggestions, including Adele Henderson, Ruth Pelzer-Montada, Karen Kunc, April Katz, and Phyllis McGibbon, among others. Suggestions for additions to this bibliography should be sent to: blyons@utk.edu.

Walter Benjamin, “The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction”, from Illuminations, Edited and with an introduction by Hannah Arendt. Translated by Harry Zohn, Harcourt, Brace & World, 1968, pp. 219-254.

This seminal essay by Walter Benjamin written in 1936 traces the history of printing, from the earliest woodcuts, through to lithography and photography in the 19th century, and ultimately to film. Benjamin used the word "aura" to refer to the sense of awe and reverence one presumably experienced in the presence of unique works of art. According to Benjamin, this aura is not intrinsic to the object itself but rather in external attributes such as its ownership, its exhibition context, its perceived authenticity, or its cultural value. In this way aura reflects art's historical association with traditional structures of religious or secular power. With the advent of art's mechanical reproducibility, and the development of forms of art (such as film) in which there is no original, Benjamin believed that the experience of art could be freed from place and ritual and instead brought under the gaze and control of a mass audience, leading to a shattering of the aura. In its association with traditional methods while also existing as a multiple, printmaking exists in a dynamic relationship to the concept of aura.

William Ivins Prints and Visual Communication, Chapter VIII: Recapitulation, Harvard University Press, 1953.

Ivins, who was the first curator of prints at the Metropolitan Museum of Art stresses the importance of repeatable visual images to the development of art, science and commerce. He writes that while the number of printed pictures and designs that have been made as works of art is very large, the number made to convey visual information is many times greater. He offers an analysis of not only the function of the repeatable visual image, but the formal properties of these images, particularly the “syntax of the engraver’s burin” as a feature of the 18th century print. His theories foreshadow Marshal McLuhan ideas regarding the way a medium informs its message.

Jean Baudrillard, Simulations, translated by Paul Foss, Paul Patton and Philip Beitchman. Semiotext(e), Inc., 1983.

Baudrillard advanced the terms “simulacra” to become a doctrine that guided much art of the 1990s. Like Walter Benjamin, he was interested in the impact of reproductive technologies on modern culture, asserting that the proliferation of images is characteristic of advanced capitalism, with the expansion of commodities and proliferation of technologies of visualization. In the essay, Baudrillard describes a movement from "representation" (of something real) to "simulation" (with no secure reference to reality). This shift changes the relation between sign and referent, so that we lose the connection, once presumed to exist, between sign or image and the reality to which both were thought to refer. To develop this argument Baudrillard asks us to think about situations where the simulating sign or image usurps the priority of the reality it is supposed to "serve". As the printed multiple is complicit in this process, Baudrillard’s ideas have clear relevance to how we think about printmaking.

Lewis Hyde, The Gift: The Erotic Life of Property, Vintage Books, 1983.

Hyde draws upon a variety of disciplines including anthropology, economics, psychology, and art to examine the role gifts have play in our emotional and spiritual life. By gifts, he means both material objects and immaterial talents and inspirations, such as artistic gifts. Hyde is particularly interested in examining the effect our current immersion in the market economy and the myth of the free market has both on our view of gifts and on our ability to give and receive them. His ideas have particular relevance to various forms of the “gift economy” we find in the exchange portfolios and in relational aesthetics.

Chandra Mukerji’s From Graven Images: Patterns of Modern Materialism, Columbia University Press, 1983.

Chandra Mukerji is primarily concerned with the material aspects of human cultures and communication processes. In this book she examines role of early printshops in the 15th and 16th centuries as producers of goods for a new rising middle class, a process that unfolded on a greater scale with the Industrial Revolution in the 19 century. Mukerji points to the market forces that drive technological advances and which inform the production of consumer culture. Andy Warhol’s “Factory” may be understood in relation to this history.

Ruth Weisberg's "The Syntax of the Print," The Tamarind Papers, Volume 9, Number 2, Fall 1986, pp. 52-60.

In an effort to identify a critical language specific to prints, Weisberg employs a structuralist model that examines the function, process and materials of printmaking. While the article reflects the value system of printmaking in the mid-1980s, it continues to have significance relevance today. This article is required reading for any introductory printmaker.

Deborah Wye, Committed to Print: Social and Political Themes in Recent American Printed Art, New York: Museum of Modern Art, 1988.

This book served as the 1988 catalogue to the exhibition “Committed to Print'' curated by Wye at the Museum of Modern Art. The exhibition sought to bridge modernist artistic values with the historic role of the print as political medium. The exhibition encompassed over 200 prints, limited-edition posters and artists' books by 108 American artists made during the previous two decades. Themes include everything from the civil rights movement to the anti-nuclear movement, from the political assassinations of the 1960's to the growing homeless population of the late 1980's.

Mihai Nadin, “Emergent Aesthetics: Aesthetic Issues in Computer Arts,” Leonardo. Supplemental Issue, Vol. 2, Computer Art in Context: SIGGRAPH '89 Art Show, Catalog. (1989), pp. 43-48.

Nadin’s 1989 essay mentions some new aesthetics of digital art and suggests its use for social, political and artistic networking & collaboration. Of particular interest is that this paper coincidentally revisits the same issues of medium that formed the key points of criticism against printmaking. Just as printmaking faced the criticism of being an object of mass production and lack of artist’s hand and control over the work, Nadin labels computer generated art as “canned” and “McDonald” art; art that is created by formula and is a poor substitute to fine art. Classifying all the electronic art as being prefabricated, he claims that if you see one and you have seen them all. Nadin goes to the extent of calling the machine (computer) an artist and calling the human being as a mere operator.

Pat Gilmour “Originality Circa 1960: A Time for Thinking Caps,” The Tamarind Papers, Vol. 13, 1990, pp. 28-33.
The Print Council of America was founded in 1956 by a small group of museum curators, scholars, artists, collectors, and dealers with a mission to "foster the creation, dissemination, and appreciation of fine prints, old and new." Gilmour offers an insightful history of the Print Council of America’s first publication What is an Original Print?, which was an effort to educate the public about the distinction between original and reproductive prints, and their requirement that the artist create the block, plate, screen or stone used to make the image. The Council viewed any and all photo-mechanical processes as disqualifying a print as fine art. Gilmour traces how Pop Art subverted this ideology, as well as screenprints by Joseph Albers for which he did not cut the stencils. While printmaking has, fortunately, expanded to embrace a greater variety of graphic modes, discussions about the role of the artist in the creation of the print continue to persist.

Barry Walker, “Brooklyn Museum’s National Print Exhibitions,” The Tamarind Papers, Volume 13, 1990, pp. 41-44.

Walker wrote this article in his role as the Curator of Prints at the Brooklyn Museum, looking back on the history of the Brooklyn Museum’s National Print Exhibitions, which began in 1947. The museum was like many in this period, hosting national competitive shows, and argues that these exhibitions helped to promote public appreciation and understanding of printmaking. By the 1960’s the exhibitions included a balance of self published prints and those produced through collaborative workshops, and Walker discusses the position advanced by Stanley William Hayter that “the artist should be involved in every step of the printmaking process, from composition to editioning.” He concludes the article with a the 21st National cured by Gene Baro, a show that was comprised of many self-published prints by artists who had not previously shown in the Brooklyn National, and exhibition which was panned by the New York print establishment.

Suzi Gablik, The Reenchantment of Art, Thames and Hudson, 1991.
Gablik calls for rethinking the form and purpose of art, particularly what it means to be a successful artist today. Gablik advocates for a new kind of art, one that reflects feminist principles of partnership, community and collaboration. While much of her writing is about artists involved in social and ecological projects, typically outside of commercial galleries, Gablik’s ideology fits well with new modes of collaboration and exchange that are becoming more common in with work being done in by printmakers.

Arthur Danto, Beyond the Brillo Box: The Visual Arts in Post-Historical Perspective, Farrar Straus Giroux, 1992.

Danto makes the case that Andy Warhol’s 1964 “Brillo Box”, a series of screen-printed wooden boxes, brought the established trajectory of Western art history to an end. Danto’s thesis that a single, totalizing history of art is dead; giving rise to the principle that there is no single way that art should be made, perceived, and exhibited. Central to Danto’s analysis is Warhol’s use of the commercial and vernacular forms associated with the print to turn the hierarchies of art on their head.

Hugh Merrill, “Post Print, Staking Claim”, Contemporary Impressions, Volume 1, Number 1, Spring 1993, pp. 7-9.

In the first issue of this journal Merrill makes the case that printmaking has entered a new territory today, one that is not strictly limited to narrow definitions of traditional studio practice and means of distribution and exhibition. Since its publication we have seen Merrill’s ideas clearly manifest in many ways by artists working in print media.

Charles Cohan “The Net of Irrationality: The Variant Matrix and the Tyranny of the Edition,” Contemporary Impressions, Volume 1, Number 2, Fall 1993, pp. 9-11.

Cohan argues that the print matrix, which is capable of multiplicity, should be used to produce variability and not replication. He wrote “The demand for exact repeatability has restricted printmaking’s natural tendency towards variation and alteration” and also that “This stricture is not set by practice or material execution, but by philosophic choice.” Today we can see the importance of variability for not only how prints are made, but for how printmaking itself is taught. With variability, printmaking can offer greater potential for the development of the student artist than non-matrix-based methods. His approach is reflected in the way printmaking is taught today in most studio art programs.

Buzz Spector The Bookmaker’s Desire, Umbrella Editions, 1995.

This book offers an excellent survey of issues in book arts. In the first chapter Spector compares two separate exhibitions of book arts that juxtapose the book as a highly crafted, fetish object (typically hand printed) with the book as disseminator of information (typically printed by offset lithography). Spector effectively discusses our physical experience of books as intimate objects and our collections of books as indicators of our values and interests.

Kurt Wisneski, Monoprint/Monotype: History and Techniques, Bullbrier Press, 1995.

Wisneski’s book offers a history and theory of the monoprint, as well as a survey of technical approaches. It is a useful companion text to Moser’s book Singular Impressions.

Susan Tallman The Contemporary Print: From Pre-Pop to Postmodern, Thames and Hudson, 1996.

With chapter headings such as “Multiplicity”, “High Tech and the Human Touch”, “Uses of History” and “The Ethos of the Edition,” Tallman’s book positions print media at the center of Post Modern art practice. Rather than treating printmaking as an extension of painting and sculpture, Tallman offers a context for why artists choose to work in print media for it own sake.

Deborah Wye, Thinking Print: Books to Billboards, 1980 – 1995, The Museum of Modern Art, Abrams, 1996.

This exhibition catalog explores the language of printmaking through examination of a variety of print-related techniques; the use of the multiple in the creation of art; and print-related themes including language/text, social and political issues, photography and the body. The illustrations are plentiful and include a wide variety of contemporary approaches to printmaking. This book serves as an excellent text for upper division undergraduate printmaking courses.

Linda Hults, The Print in the Western World, University of Wisconsin Press, 1997.

This 900+ page tome, with over 700 illustrations offers a viable resource for teaching print history by examining the social, formal, technical and economic implications of the medium. The volume includes a glossary of basic printmaking terms, as well as full bibliographies at the end of each chapter, giving readers access to a wide range of scholarship on prints. Its publication raises the question of whether the history of printmaking should be taught as a dedicated subject – or is given appropriate attention in broader art historical surveys.

Walter Jule, editor, Sightlines: Printmaking and Image Culture, University of Alberta Press, 1997.
Sightlines was published in conjunction with an international symposium by the same name held at the University of Alberta in 1997. The book documents an important gathering of conference proceedings by international presenters with more than 250 color illustrations representing more than 120 artists and texts on print practice and education.

Joann Moser, Singular Impressions: The Monotype in America, Smithsonian Institution, 1997.

Published on the occasion of an exhibition by the same name at the National Museum of American Art, Moser offers a useful history on the significance of the monotype and the exposure several 19th century American artists had to the medium while working in Europe. The book includes excellent illustrations of monotypes by several late 19th century artists, including Peter Moran, Joseph Pennell, and William Merritt Chase. Moser also writes about the phenomena of monotype parties begun in the 1880s. The book also includes some good examples of more recent monotypes, with focused attention on the contributions of Nathan Olivera and Michael Mazur. She argues that the resurgence of monotype is a natural outgrowth of the printmaking renaissance of the 1960s and 1970s as well as a response to the reproductive capabilities of photographic and digital printing.

J.D. Bolter and R. Grusin, Remediation: Understanding New Media, MIT Press, 1998.
This book argues that traditional media (and these, of course, include printmaking although it is only briefly mentioned) are not as separate from “new” media or digital technologies as is often claimed. Instead, the book shows how media have “remediated” one another throughout cultural history. The authors explain how, for example, photography remediated painting, and film remediated theatre. The main thesis of the book provides food for thought especially for those printmakers who see new media merely as a danger to traditional printmaking modes. It also allows the positioning of printmaking and its current practices, be they traditional, “new” or a mixture of both, within the broader spectrum of re-mediation that is currently happening.

A. D. Coleman, The Digital Evolution, Visual Communication in the Electronic Age: Essays, Lectures and Interviews, 1967-1998, Nazraeli Press, 1998.

Coleman has served as Publisher and Executive Director of The Nearby Café (www.nearbycafe.com) since 1995, a multi-subject electronic magazine where his internet newsletter on photography, "C: the Speed of Light," appears. He also founded and directs the Photography Criticism CyberArchive (http://www.photocriticism.com), the most extensive online database ever created of writing about photography. In this book Coleman has several chapters including “Copyright or Wrong?”, “Intellectual Property in the Electronic Age”, and “Marginalizing the Maker: The Status of Authorship in the Digital Epoch” which have direct bearing on digital printmaking.

Hillel Schwartz The Culture of the Copy: Striking Likenesses Unreasonable Facsimiles, MIT Press, 1998.

In this book Hillel Schwartz asserts that the very concept of the original is obsolete. Drawing on the study of twins, as well as a rich variety of other historic and ethnographic sources, Schwartz gives the printmaker a new insight into the value of the repeated image, the copy, the simulation, the replica and the function of the multiple. This book is like Frazier’s Golden Bough of reproductive technologies, and can be opened to any page at random to yield an interesting passage. The chapter titled “Ditto” is of particular value for a consideration of printmaking, with useful information on copyright laws, the history of reproductive technologies in offices and the early use of photo-copy machines by women artists.

Warrington Colescott and Arthur Hove, Progressive Printmakers: Printmaking at the University of Wisconsin, 1945-1995, University of Wisconsin Press, 1999.

Colescott, a long-time faculty member at the University of Wisconsin and Arthur Hove, former director of public information at the same university trace the impact of the UW Madison printmaking program. Stressing the early influence of Alfred Sessler as an artist, teacher and colleague, the book features the growth of the printmaking faculty with breadth across all graphic disciplines, including both printmaking and book arts.

Beauvais Lyons, “In Praise of Neglected Print Histories,” IMPACT 1 International Printmaking Conference Proceedings, University of West England, 1999, pp. 17-24.

Lyons asserts that the history of printmaking has several blind spots that reflect a bias of art history to only consider works that fit into a totalizing narrative. Several areas of neglected print history include its central role in advancement of the Enlightenment since the 18th century, as a form of applied art that has commercial value, and through the history of comics. He also makes a case for considering Marcel Duchamp as a printmaker based on his editioned valises, each comprised of glass plate replicas of his signature works that function like complex book works. Lyons also states these works “foreshadow the current museum practice of marketing facsimiles and reproductions in their gift stores.”

Kathryn Reeves, “The re-vision of printmaking,” IMPACT 1 International Printmaking Conference Proceedings, University of West England, 1999, pp. 69-75.

Reeves offers a case for re-conceptualizing the print as an activity that is based on bodily processes. In discussing process in the original syntax essay, Ruth Weisberg cited Michael Rothenstein, who once remarked in a lecture that the essence of printmaking is an embrace, one body pressed against the other. Reeves expands this idea, calling our attention to other bodily metaphors in printmaking, from the bleed print, to the print as a psychosexual act of reproduction. Reeves uncovers the etymology of the word “matrix”, tracing it to Latin origins where it meant “womb.” The gender coding of reproductive arts such as printmaking may explain why it has sometimes been classified as a “minor” discipline.

Howard Singerman, Art Subjects: Making Artists in the American University, University of California Press, 1999.

Singerman’s book is the first comprehensive examination of the history and theory of professional education of contemporary artists in the United States. As printmaking exists largely in relation to this system, the book offers some interesting issues to consider. Given the institutional history of sexism in art education, chapter two poses some important question as printmaking (like the rest of the visual arts) is populated mostly by female students and increasingly female faculty. Chapter six raises the question of the cross-disciplinary ideal of postmodernism in relation to the preservation of traditional forms. Chapter seven, which addresses the MFA degree presumes the anti-craft, theory-centered bias of graduate education while asserting the professionalization of the discipline. Singerman also places emphasis on the role of the visiting artist in the educational enterprise, which is a common aspect of the best printmaking programs.

David Platzker and Elizabeth Wyckoff, Hard Pressed: 600 Years of Prints and Process, Hudson Hills Press, 2000.

This 352 page book was published in conjunction with the first major exhibition organized by the International Print Center in New York. Curated by Elizabeth Wyckoff from the New York Public Library, and David Platzker, Director of Printed Matter, the book offers a broad overview of printmaking, from earliest woodcuts to current uses of digital technology.

Alicia Candiani, “Displacements, Hybridization and Globalization,” published as part of the Inter-Kontakt-Grafik Prague exhibition, 2001.

This essay authored by Candiani, a noted Argentinean artist who frequently serves on juries for international print competitions, reflects an expanded approach to print media, especially in a global context. She cites some of the critical literature referenced in this bibliography while also discussing changes that have taken place with the system of international juried exhibitions describing them as “negotiators of diversity.” The complete essay is posted at: http://karaart.com/prints/articles/alicia.candiani/alicia.candiani.html

Lev Manovich, The Language of New Media, MIT Press, Cambridge, MA, 2001.

The book provides one of the first systematic and rigorous analyses of new media to date. While analyzing the new media through the historical context of visual and media culture, Manovich presents the new principles and aesthetics of new media. He considers the merging of computer and media, symbolized by the superimposition of 'binary' code over 'iconic' code. Describing the new media as “soft”, Manovich defines its new aesthetics through the principles of (1) numerical representation and mathematical description of the object, 
(2) modularity or the independent function of each object even when combined into one larger object, 
(3) automation, 
(4) variability of the object in terms of its function, scale and material, 
and (5) transcoding or conversion of object from one format to another. Based on these new principles, Manovich suggests the change of theory of reproduction to the philosophy of production of new media objects.

Ruth Pelzer-Montada, “Authenticity in Printmaking – A Red Herring?” IMPACT 2 International Printmaking Conference Proceedings, Helsinki, Finland, 2001.

In this conference paper, Pelzer-Montada draws from the writings of Walter Benjamin, Benjamin Buchloh and others to examine of our modern preoccupation with authenticity. She applies this question to the concept of the “original print”, noting a bias since the Renaissance that regarded repetition as counterproductive to originality. She argues against the simple dualisms of this ideology, noting that “Prints have always carried with them the instability of authenticity and the implicit critique of affiliated concepts” such as Walter Benjamin’s concept of aura. She writes “The resultant re-definition of authenticity is no longer in terms of a dichotomy between real, unique and false, but is rather seen as embracing both.” The paper, which unfortunately does not include illustrations, is posted at: http://www2.uiah.fi/conferences/impact/pelzer/Pelzer-Montada.pdf

Richard Seabrook, No Brow: The Culture of Marketing, the Marketing of Culture, Random House, 2001.

Seabrook writes about the tendency of contemporary art to stake out an intermediary “no brow” territory, one that often exists in the space between what H. L. Mencken called “highbrow” and “lowbrow.” Seabrook characterizes "nobrow" as an area where "commercial culture is a source of status, rather than the thing the elite define themselves against." To the extent that print culture is often tied to commerce (see Chandra Mukerji’s From Graven Images: Patterns of Modern Materialism) Seabrook offers a set of arguments for the cultural influence of print media.

Marisa Sturken, and Lisa Cartwright, Practices of Looking: An Introduction to Visual Culture, Oxford University Press, 2001.
This book is a good primer on the field of Visual Culture studies. The authors examine the diverse range of recent approaches to visual analysis and provide excellent visual examples on how these theories work in practice. Their illustrations - paintings, prints, photographs, film, television, video, advertisements, news images, the Internet, digital images, and images from science – demonstrate how images gain meaning in different cultural arenas, from art and commerce to science and the law. Sturken and Cartwright also consider how images function both in a global context as well as in specific cultures; how they are an integral and important aspect of our lives. The images are analyzed in relation to a range of cultural and representational issues (desire, power, the gaze, bodies, sexuality, ethnicity) and methodologies (Semiotics, Marxism, Psychoanalysis, Feminism, Postcolonial Theory). Central topics such as ideology, the concept of the spectator, the role of reproduction in visual culture, the mass media and the public sphere, consumer culture, and postmodernism are explained in depth. The benefits for printmakers, especially printmaking students, lies in the book’s accessible and comprehensive overview of the broader contextual field in which they produce and present their work.

Nicholas Bourriaud, Relational Aesthetics, English edition translated by Simon Pleasance and Fronza Woods, les presse du réel, 2002.

Relational aesthetics advocates that works of art should be judged based upon the inter-human relations that they represent, produce, or prompt. As more and more printmakers are doing works outside of conventional cultural institutions, engaged in works that engage in civic spaces and processes, Bourriaud’s ideas about art and community offer a potentially useful tool for reconsidering the function of the multiple. Bourriaud’s approach borrows from the language of the new computer culture, advocating for an art that values ‘user-friendliness’, ‘interactivity’ and the ‘do-it-yourself’. In many respects he makes a good case for the agency of self-publishing and for contributing to various forms of the gift economy.

Olynyk, Patricia, “Making Marks Beyond the Print Studio: Mapping an Interdisciplinary Terrain,” Contemporary Impressions, Vol. 10, Fall 2002, pp. 20-25.

Olynyk makes the case that printmaking is especially appropriate for interdisciplinary media because of its multiplicity, reproduction, and multi-faceted interpretation and because it often contains cultural, political, or even scientific subject matter represented in a variety of ways from text to photo-realistic imagery to abstraction.

Helen Molesworth, editor, Work Ethic, Baltimore Museum of Art, Pennsylvania State University Press, 2003.

Using Andy Warhol’s factory as a model of production, Molesworth brings together writings about a number of contemporary artists who address issues of labor and work for an exhibition that was first presented at the Baltimore Museum of Art in 2003. While not all of the artists discussed work with printmaking, many of them do, and Molesworth’s introductory essay offers a useful set of issues for printmakers to consider. How can we apply the concept of the artist as manager and worker (one who creates and completes a task) in comparison the artist as manager (one who sets a task for others to complete)? How do we consider these roles in relation to the collaborative systems of production that we associate with the workshop print?

Karen Kunc, Mirror of the Wood: A Century of the Woodcut Print in Finland, catalogue, “Inside the Mirror,” Blue Heron Press, 2004.
Reflecting the attention to the material properties of woodcut in an era that is becoming increasingly digital, Kunc’s essay addresses her ideas regarding material influence and cultural aesthetic, specifically for contemporary Finnish graphic artists for whom wood has a rich artistic history as an art material.

Olav Velthuis, Imaginary Economics: Contemporary Artists and the World of Big Money, NAi Publishers, 2005.

This book examines the ways in which contemporary artists represent economic processes, not just creating artworks about the market or subsidy systems through the media, but analyze and offer parodies of economic mechanisms in their work.

The book includes an account on J.S. Boggs, an artist who prints his own money and uses his notes in financial transactions.

Michael Rush, New Media in Art, (Chapter 4, The Digital in Art), Thames & Hudson, 2005.

The chapter serves as a crash course in the history of computers in art. For the author Walter Benjamin’s seminal essay remains essential to address the issues of art in the age of technology, claiming that with the use of digital technology, artists now introduce new forms of “production” and not “reproduction.” Comparing traditional media to the digital technology Rush quotes architect and critic Paul Virilio stating “that we are entering the world in which there won’t be one but two realities: the actual and virtual.” Through this, Rush claims that it is impossible to judge a work of art in digital art with the same parameters as traditional media and its new aesthetics have yet to be developed.

Kathan Brown, Magical Secrets About Thinking Creatively: The Art of Etching and the Truth of Life, Crown Point Press, Prestel Publishing, 2006.

Kathan Brown is the noted founder of Crown Point Press based in San Francisco. The press has played a central role in publishing intaglios and woodcuts by significant contemporary artists. Brown’s book connects the magical thinking we associate with the print shop to help non-artists consider the role of creativity in the their own lives. The book includes a DVD, and has a website with video interviews of artists who have worked at Crown Point Press posted at: http://www.magical-secrets.com/

Richard Noyce, Printmaking at the Edge, A&C Black Publishers, 2006.

Noyce approaches printmaking from a very expanded perspective, and includes artists who are working across the gamut of printmaking practice. His pluralist approach encompasses approaches to print that involve traditional methods and political approaches, digital techniques and public spaces, etc. This book points in many directions and reflects a wide range of artistic values, just as printmaking does.

Amy Sandback, Curator, Imagined Worlds: Willful Invention and the Printed Image 1470-2005. Axa Gallery and International Print Center New York, NY, 2006.

This exhibition and accompanying catalogue comprises fine art prints, books, and maps from many cultures, spanning five hundred years. The exhibition features nearly 90 works by a diverse number of historic and contemporary artists. Building on ideas first articulated by William Ivins in Prints and Visual Communications, this catalogue explores the role of printed images in shaping cultural ideas throughout history, and the influence of the surrounding culture on the creation of the images themselves. Exhibitions such as this offer a case for the centrality of the printed image as a cultural force.

G. Saunders and R. Miles, Prints Now: Directions and Definitions, Harry N. Abrams, New York, NY, 2006.
This survey of contemporary printmaking, largely from a British perspective, should be read in conjunction with Tallman’s book published ten years previously. It provides examples and case studies of the broad spectrum of media and approaches that printmaking now encompasses, from billboards and buttons to clothes, cakes, and shopping bags. In addition, the role of community-based print workshops and the market for prints are considered. Practically all the works are drawn from the collection of the Victoria and Albert Museum in London where both authors work as curators. This is an accessible general study which, like Tallman’s, favors already well-known “non-specialist printmakers”, i.e. well-known artists, but demonstrates its main thesis that ‘”print is now a central part of many artists” activity, the equal of their output in other media.”

Deborah Wye and Wendy Weitman, Eye on Europe: Prints, Books and Multiple, 1960 to Now, The Museum of Modern Art, 2006.

This is a survey of contemporary European printmaking with examination of the impact of issues such as mass mediums, language, expressionist impulses, and confrontation on the print. There are abundant and varied images in the book.

Richard Sennett, The Craftsman, Yale University Press, 2008.

In this book Sennett, a Professor of Sociology at New York University argues that the skilled craftsman connects physical labor to ethical values. Sennett writes about how modern society is adversely impacted by the ways theory and practice have been separated. With concern regarding the ways that studio art education often emphasizes theory over practice, Sennett’s book offers arguments for the importance of the craft traditions of printmaking to the development of today’s art student.

MAJOR PRINT JOURNALS:

Art on Paper: http://www.artonpaper.com/about_us/

Contemporary Impressions (American Print Alliance): http://www.printalliance.org/

Grapheion: http://www.grapheion.cz

Graphic Impressions (Southern Graphics Council): http://www.southerngraphics.org/newsletter.asp

Journal of the Print World: http://www.journaloftheprintworld.com/

MAPC Journal: http://www.midamericaprintcouncil.org/

Printmaking Today: http://www.cellopress.co.uk/

The Tamarind Papers: http://www.unm.edu/~tamarind/ttpindex.html




 

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