L'estampe & éditions originales

Focus dans le hall 1 - L'estampe & éditions originales
Focus dans le hall 1 - L'estampe & éditions originales

Grâce à leur prix relativement modique dû à une production en série limitée, les estampes sont à l’origine de plus d’une collection privée. Le grand intérêt que le public manifeste pour ce type d’œuvres exposées dans le Hall 1 est d’ailleurs parfaitement justifié puisque la plupart des peintres ont également produit de nombreuses aquatintes, lithographies, sérigraphies et gravures sur bois.

Éditions originales au salon art KARLSRUHE

Éditions originales au salon art KARLSRUHE par exemple à Dreipunkt Edition
Éditions originales au salon art KARLSRUHE par exemple à Dreipunkt Edition

Contrairement à ce qu’on pourrait croire de prime abord, le terme « éditions originales » ne s’applique pas à des livres mais désigne en fait des œuvres d’art (principalement des estampes et des photos) qui ne jouissent pas d’un caractère d’unicité mais sont reproduites en un certain nombre d’exemplaires.

Importance des estampes au salon art KARLSRUHE

Importance des estampes au salon art KARLSRUHE
Importance des estampes au salon art KARLSRUHE

Estampes et éditions originales sont à l’origine de plus d’une collection privée jouissant aujourd’hui d’une renommée internationale. Ces œuvres proposées à un prix abordable permettent en effet de se familiariser avec l’art moderne classique et l’art contemporain. De plus, telle œuvre achetée jadis pour une bouchée de pain à un jeune artiste peut entre-temps valoir une petite fortune.

Les estampes en séries limitées que les exposants au salon art KARLSRUHE proposent à la vente sur environ deux cents mètres carrés illustrent la diversité de ce type d’œuvres réalisées à de nombreuses époques de l’histoire de l’art.

Portrait Frank-Thomas Gaulin, directeur de la Kunsthaus Lübeck et ancien membre du comité d’organisation du salon art KARLSRUHE

Par la grande diversité des techniques qu’elles impliquent, les estampes fascinent artistes et collectionneurs depuis des siècles. Elles permettent par ailleurs aux amateurs d’art de se constituer une collection tout en formant leur goût.


Frank-Thomas Gaulin, directeur de la Kunsthaus Lübeck et ancien membre du comité d’organisation du salon art KARLSRUHE

Glossary for Graphic Prints

The collective designation “graphic prints” denotes all artistic techniques which reproduce a master pattern. A print template or print form is created from the mirror-image of the motif. The process may involve engraving: the forms which are not to be printed must be cut away from the solid surface of the print substrate. If a colouring agent (e.g. ink) is applied to the printing plate and the plate is then pressed against a sheet of paper, the graphic artwork per se becomes visible on the paper. Last but not least: if the print form is not steeled, it becomes increasingly more reduced as the number of printed copies increases. This is why artists, gallerists and collectors prefer smaller editions of graphic artworks, which should, of course, also be signed, numbered and dated.

In relief printing, the elements of the image lie above the plane of the printing plate. The raised elements are inked, plate is pressed against a sheet of paper, and the print is transferred to the paper. The woodcut is the classical and oldest method: a woodcutter uses gravers and knives to cut from the wooden print plate whatever parts of the image which should not be printed. This negative technique, however, does not allow the graphic artist to correct imperfect cuts. This technique, which already played a role as a technique for creating illustrations in book printing in the early modern era, was enthusiastically revived in the 20th century by the Expressionists, who loved the woodcut because it was ideal for creating a coarse, angular, visual vocabulary.

The German word Tiefdruck (literally “deep print”) captures the essence of this technique. The elements of the image are scratched into the plate and therefore lie below the plane of its surface. Gravure printing is a positive method: the colouring agent is first rubbed onto the plate and into the incised depressions; the plate is wiped clean, leaving the colouring agent in the grooves; and finally the plate is pressed against the paper. Etching, which has been used since the 15th century, permits more virtuosic handling than relief printing because the artisan cause allow the tips of the burins “dance” across the metal plate, thus creating the engraving. One problem with this method is that the edges of the incised lines are delicate and suffer a loss of quality after 20 or 30 copies have been printed. Alongside dry point, which became famous thanks to Albrecht Dürer, there are also warm point and mordant etching. In the latter method, the image is cut into a soft stratum and the plate is then immersed in acid. Halftone prints can be created by repeatedly immersing the plate in the caustic bath. Aquatint, a variety of etching with an especially painterly effect, was preferred by artists such as Francisco de Goya and Pablo Picasso.

In this printing technique, two opposites (i.e. the elements which are to be printed and those which are not to be printed) share the same plane. A greasy chalk is applied to the fine-pored surface of a stone (often limestone) plate. The lithographer then applies a solution which enhances both the grease-receptive and grease-repellent chemical properties of the two components of the pattern. Many artists regard lithography as a rather complicated method and accordingly prefer to commission specially trained lithographers. The art of lithography, which was first used in the 20th century, served many poster artists (e.g. Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec) as an ideal method for reproducing monochrome and also polychrome motifs.

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