What is a Print? Now On View

July 29, 2011 – HALIFAX, NS –This summer the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia is pleased to present What is a Print?, a new exhibition that addresses and breaks down the question ‘what is printmaking?’ The exhibition opened on July 22, 2011 and will be on view until January 22, 2012.

Prints are a vital and vibrant link between the museum and the marketplace, the elite and the everyday.  This exhibition presents prints of many types and utilizes a photomicrograph, at 16x, 25x or 40x magnification to draw attention to and reveal a particular aspect of the process involved.

A print is an artist-designed image, executed on a matrix (which can be wood, metal plate, stone or screen), inked, sent through a special press, and pulled one-by-one from the matrix to produce multiple impressions on a damp paper. Exceptions can occur at any stage. The earliest prints were printed with black ink, but from the beginning people wanted colour. At first, colour was added by hand to each print, but with the development of coloured inks, methods were devised to add colour to the matrix. Today, machines can reproduce an endless succession of beautiful full colour images, but it still requires the human touch to make a print. All these innovations prompt the question: what is a print?

“We hope that this introduction to the world of prints will demystify the processes involved and will enthrall visitors with the “black magic” of printmaking,” said Laurie Hamilton, Senior Conservator at the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia

“From historic to contemporary, Rembrandt to Warhol, there is a little bit of something for everyone in this diverse show,” added David Diviney, Curator of Exhibitions at the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia. 

What is a Print? is a joint project of Laurie Hamilton, Senior Conservator and Mora Dianne O’Neill, Associate Curator, Historical Prints and Drawings at the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia.

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