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Printmaking: Then & Now

Last updated on May 8, 2020

The exhibition ‘The print: matter in matrix’ explores the medium of printmaking through its constant evolution in technology

What are fine art prints, or limited edition prints? How are they different from various other types of prints that are so ubiquitous today? An upcoming exhibition attempts to answer these questions.

Gallery Latitude 28 presents ‘The Print: Matter in Matrix’, that explores the medium of printmaking through the constant evolution in technology and the ways artist have assimilated these new mechanisms as a part of their practice. The exhibition, through the works of several artists, looks at the practices in contemporary times with contextual notes on the history of Indian printmaking.

Bhavna Kakar, the founder-director of Gallery Latitude 28, has a deep interest in printmaking. “I studied printmaking as a student and always felt that it is an intense and extensive art. I tried to combine my research in this exhibition that showcases the significance of printmaking as an art medium by bringing works from 60 artists in different sections — like academic practice, book, digital and alternative practices, and 3-D printing. The show also brings in reproductions that discuss the popular misconception of a print being a re-produced,” says Kakkar.

At every moment in history, this act of printing has been a catalyst for change in the socio-cultural-political landscape. Reflecting this thought, she further adds, “we will also have objects from history to build a narrative of how the medium of printmaking has undergone various changes and in turn has impacted what it means to print. The exhibition will showcase etchings, woodcuts, lino-cuts, viscosity works, digital artworks, 3-D printed artworks, cyanotype artworks, alongside artist’s books and rare colonial period collectable objects. Moreover, the artists being exhibited are from various parts of the country that offers the viewers an opportunity to experience printmaking works from centres like Goa, Kolkata, Chennai, Baroda, Mumbai, Raipur, Santiniketan, among many.”

The exhibition consists of different sections. Let’s take a look at what each one of them has to offer:

ACADEMIC PRACTICE

This section looks at the context within which academic print making was established in India and how the interactions and innovations have shaped academic printmaking today. This section will also look at the various groups, organisations and spaces that have initiated and supported printmaking activities.

THE BOOK

The rise of the printing press had led to the demand for illustrations. The involvement of artists in this space led to explorations of book making under the western idiom. The contemporary approach by artists and designers to the book as an ‘object’ marks a shift from the mainstream, where the underlying ideas in ways become similar to the manuscript traditions of India.

REPRODUCTIONS

A lot of what is understood of printmaking in India is via reproductions of ‘original’ artworks. One comes across serigraph reproductions of works of most of the modern masters such as Raza, Hussain, Ara, Souza, etc. This section will explore the rise of reproductions and its impact on printmaking in India.

Digital and Alternative Printing

The 90’s ushered in a plethora of digital technologies available across the world to the Indian consumer. With the rise of low cost digital printing machines and photo-editing softwares, artists began incorporating these new technologies as a part of their expanding vocabularies. This rise also led to exploration of various alternative printing techniques. Digital technology influenced the ‘labour’ of image making process and challenged the role of the more traditional printing processes.

3-D PRINTING

To say that the introduction of 3-D printing is changing the world is an understatement. Artists globally have recognised the potency of this technique and one sees it quickly becoming a part of a new vocabulary.

The exhibition is on display at Triveni Kala Sangam till March 12