Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Fine Prints For All

If you always thought having an art collection was out of reach financially, think again. The Cleveland Museum of Art wants to jump-start your print collection with the 31st Fine Prints Fair, the second oldest continually running print fair in the United States, from Sept. 24-27. The prints, which span from 16th century to today, come from 15 dealers throughout the country and are guaranteed originals. These hand-selected dealers, along with with the Inter-Museum Conservation Association, a nonprofit conservation laboratory, are at the fair to educate visitors and hopefully inspire someone to collect. "Dealers will have prints starting at $100 so that students or young people can start collecting," says Jane Glaubinger, the Cleveland Museum of Art's curator of prints. "There is such a wide variety of prices and something for everybody."

Morris Blackburn Forms, 1945, color screenprint. Courtesy of Dolan/Maxwell

Forms by Morris Blackburn 
Abstraction was nothing new by 1945 when Blackburn made this print, but the artist's use of dimension is definitely exciting. "The artist has removed the idea of three-dimension by using these spots of very bright, solid colors," says Glaubinger. "He used the areas of flat, bright colors to flatten out the space."

.Henri Riviere La Montagne, 1897, lithographCourtesy of Pia Gallo
 La Montage by Henri Riviere 
The Parisian artist, who spent his summers in Brittany, France, was inspired by the colorful landscapes he saw during his time in northwestern France. Replicating those vibrant images, which were made in the 1890s during the height of lithography in France, required a lot of skill. "For each color, you're printing from a separate stone or different plate," Glaubinger says. "It's complicated to print a lot of different colors and to register the paper perfectly each time you print."

Martin Lewis Little Penthouse, 1931, drypoint. Courtesy of The Old Print Shop, Inc.
Little Penthouse by Martin Lewis 
The artist, who lived in New York, was not afraid of the dark. In fact, he often used night scenes and added a few light effects. "He would have a dim scene and then would include a bright light like a lamppost or something," says Glaubinger. "In this print, he uses the window as his light source." Lewis was also never tempted by color, as he was skillful in black and white. "They don't always want to work in color," adds Glaubinger. "There's something about the contrast of the black ink of the white paper."

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