Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Monotypes at the San Jose Institute of Contemporary Art

Opening June 17 at the
SJICA: Monotype Marathon XI

Exhibition: June 17 - July 9, 2005
Closing Reception and Auction:
July 9, 5:30 -8
An exhibition of over 125 prints produced in a marathon weekend of Bay Area print workshops.

Whispers of Siam
Gregg Chadwick
"Whispers of Siam"
33"x20" monotype 2005

Notes on the Monotype Process:

Spontaneity characterizes the monotype. A monotype is made by brushing printer's ink or oil paint onto a smooth surface such as glass or a metal plate. The image is then transferred to paper before it dries, using a printing press or other means of pressure.

Because most of the image is transferred in the printing process, only one strong impression can be taken, hence the term monotype (one print). Additional impressions of the residual image are sometimes printed (ghosts). They are significantly fainter than the first pull, yet at times these lighter open images are more successful as works of art.

The personal nature of the monotype suited experimental artists from William Blake to Edgar Degas to Milton Avery.

The English artist William Blake used the monotype process to fashion works of great depth and mystery. Blake's monotypes were created with egg tempera painted onto board, which rendered a textural surface when printed onto paper. Blake would then go back into the works with ink and color to develop the imagery.

William Blake
Pity (color monotype) - 1795

The National Museum of American Art, Smithsonian Institution, exhibition from 1997: "Singular Impressions: The Monotype in America" produced an informative video on The Monotype Process.


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