Visions and Revisions
Whether breaking with tradition or building on its foundation—challenging or celebrating—artists have always used the work of their predecessors as a point of departure for original expression. Printmakers in particular have been keenly aware of the history of their medium, constantly pursuing innovation while also reviving old techniques to produce new work. To create these results, printmakers often need to overcome considerable technical challenges. The print on this wall was produced from a single copper plate using some of the techniques explored in this exhibition, demonstrating the distinct visual effects they each produce.
Sometimes a technique becomes directly linked to its most famous practitioner, such as etching and Rembrandt or Goya and aquatint. Reference to these artists becomes virtually inescapable, almost embedded in the medium itself. The act of working in a traditional technique, then, provides a way for artists to confront the history of art and their place in it; to question originality, identity, and influence; and to reflect on time, distance, memory, and loss—issues at the core of art-making itself.
Assistant Curator of Prints, Drawings, and Photographs