Contemporary, Monoprint, Monotype, Portraits, Prints

Explaining Monoprints and Monotypes

As we prepare for the opening of our new gallery exhibit, Monotypes, we thought it useful to delve into the difference between a monotype and a monoprint for our blog readers and collectors. As their names imply, monotypes and monoprints are prints that have an edition of one. Often referred to interchangeably, these planographic techniques are actually quite different.

A monotype is made by drawing or painting a design in printing ink onto any smooth surface, then covering this matrix with paper and passing it through a press. The result, an exact reverse of the original drawing, is an original and unique monotype.

A monoprint is made by taking an already inked etched plate or carved woodblock and adding additional ink to the surface of the matrix. The matrix and paper are run through the press, creating a monoprint. This additional ink produces an impression different in appearance to a conventionally-printed impression from the same plate. Since it is virtually impossible to manipulate this extra ink twice the same way, every monoprint impression will be different.

To explain this further, take a look at the two portraits shown below. Elie Nadelman by Leonard Baskin is a monotype. The composition is created of solely ink manipulation on the plate- there are no etched or engraved lines delineating the profile. In contrast, the print Elizabethan by Irving Amen is a monoprint. Etched lines add contours to the face, eyes, and beard, while printing ink (applied not in the grooves of the etched plate lines but on the surface of the plate) adds color to areas like the cheeks, forehead, and background. If Irving Amen tried to create another impression of this print, he would not be able to mimic exactly the placement, intensity, or saturation of each color- which is what makes this print an monoprint and not a colored etching. There can only be one impression like this one.

Elie Nadelman. Leonard Baskin. Monotype, 1989. Image size  5 x 4 inches. Signed and titled in pencil. LINK.

Elie Nadelman. Leonard Baskin. Monotype, 1989. Image size 5 x 4 inches. Signed and titled in pencil, . LINK.

Elizabethan. Irving Amen. Monoprint, 1964. Image size 17 9/16 x 13 13/16 inches.  Signed, titled and dated in pencil, inscribed "1/1" and "unique color." LINK.

Elizabethan. Irving Amen. Monoprint, 1964. Image size 17 9/16 x 13 13/16 inches. Signed, titled and dated in pencil, inscribed “1/1” and “unique color.” LINK.

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Monotypes Old Print Gallery Invite

Contemporary, Early 20th Century, Gallery Event, Gallery Opening Receptions, Gallery Openings, Monotype, Prints

Join us for the “Monotypes” Opening Reception

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Abstract, Contemporary, Monotype, New Additions, Prints

New Additions: Philip Bennet Monotypes

NEW ADDITIONS bannerNEW ADDITIONSIn advance of our Monotypes show, which opens on July 17th, contemporary printmaker Philip Bennet dropped off several new prints to The Old Print Gallery. It is always a pleasure to interact with our contemporary printmakers. Every meeting creates an opportunity to talk with them about their approach to printmaking, new techniques they are exploring, and challenges (both good and bad) they are working through in their studio. Bennet’s new prints deviate from some of his earlier work, both in scale and color palette, so we asked him to share some of his creative process with our OPG blog readers and collectors. We hope you enjoy!

“For some time friends and other artists have asked: “Why don’t you work bigger? Because as a colorist, your prints would have greater impact.” So this spring I took the plunge and did a group of full sheet (22 x 30″) prints. For my plate I chose Mylar, a thin plastic. By using large brushes along with plenty of water, I could more easily enhance the flow of color. Also, I decided on a different watercolor palette consisting of mostly soft warm colors of violets, mauves, reds, oranges, and yellows. I used my usual technique of working intuitively and letting the colors bleed by lifting and rotating the Mylar to create unforeseen effects. I often add a little splatter. “Opposites Attract” and “Moving Violet” are two examples of this technique.” – Philip Bennet , 2015

Opposites Attract. Philip Bennet. Watercolor monotype, 2015. Diptych. Image size 17 x 25 1/4". Edition 1/1. Signed and titled by artist in pencil. Printed on Japanese paper. LINK.

Opposites Attract. Philip Bennet. Watercolor monotype, 2015. Diptych. Image size 17 x 25 1/4″. Edition 1/1. Signed and titled by artist in pencil. Printed on Japanese paper. LINK.

Moving Violet. Philip Bennet. Watercolor monotype, 2015. Image size 16 7/8 x 11 1/4". Edition 1/1. Signed and titled by artist in pencil. LINK.

Moving Violet. Philip Bennet. Watercolor monotype, 2015. Image size 16 7/8 x 11 1/4″. Edition 1/1. Signed and titled by artist in pencil. LINK.

Crazy Rhythm II. Philip Bennet. Watercolor monotype, 2015. Image size 9 3/4 x 13 3/8". Edition 1/1. Signed and titled by artist in pencil. LINK.

Crazy Rhythm II. Philip Bennet. Watercolor monotype, 2015. Image size 9 3/4 x 13 3/8″. Edition 1/1. Signed and titled by artist in pencil. LINK.

Crazy Rhythm III.  Philip Bennet. Watercolor monotype, 2015. Image size 9 3/4 x 13 3/4". Edition 1/1. Signed and titled by artist in pencil. LINK.

Crazy Rhythm III. Philip Bennet. Watercolor monotype, 2015. Image size 9 3/4 x 13 3/4″. Edition 1/1. Signed and titled by artist in pencil. LINK.

The prints have been added to our inventory, and can now be seen in our DC gallery and online. Thanks to Philip for offering us a glimpse into your creative decision-making.

 

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Contemporary, Gallery Openings, Gallery Updates, Monoprint, Monotype, Prints

“Monotypes” to Open in July

Under a Tree. Matt Phillips. Monotype, 2006. Image size 12 3/4 x 8 3/4 inches. LINK.

Under a Tree. Matt Phillips. Monotype, 2006. Image size 12 3/4 x 8 3/4 inches. LINK.

We are excited to announce our new summer show, Monotypes, which will open on July 17th with a nighttime reception at the gallery from 5-7pm. A monotype is the most painterly method of printmaking, created by manually adding ink onto a plate, which is then printed through a traditional press. While other printmaking mediums are composed by way of hard, precise lines and detailed crosshatching, the looseness and gestural freedom allowed in a monotype can be an invigorating breath of fresh air for artists. The prints chosen for the exhibit are glowing examples of this unbridled, and sometimes playful, independence from the technical, benefiting from the simple swipe of a brush stroke, the pooling and blending of inks, and the unique translucency and saturation of color. The show will remain on view through September 12, 2015. Selected Artists: Linda Adato, Leonard Baskin, Philip Bennet, Susan Goldman, Takamune Ishiguro, Alessandro Mastro-Valerio, Matt Phillips, Clare Romano, Peri Schwartz, Bruce Waldman, Steven Walker, and Janet Yake. We will share more with our OPG Blog readers and followers as the show takes form, so make sure to check back for updates!

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Color Woodcut, Contemporary, Monotype, Prints, Screenprint, Woodcut

Outside the Margin Series

Our 2014 Winter Contemporary Show is still on view at The Old Print Gallery. One of the best things about doing the Winter Contemporary Show every year is catching up with all our talented contemporary artists, seeing and learning about their new projects and experiments in printmaking. It is exciting to witness the evolution of their art over time, as they play with scale, new color palettes, subject matter, and technique.
Outside the Margin (3). Susan Goldman. Screenprint monotype with woodcut, 2014. Signed, titled, dated, and editioned on back by artist in pencil. Lily Press stamp in red ink on back. Paper size 10 x 8" (254 x 203 mm).  LINK.

Outside the Margin (3). Susan Goldman. Screenprint monotype with woodcut, 2014. Signed, titled, dated, and editioned on back by artist in pencil. Lily Press stamp in red ink on back. Paper size 10 x 8″ (254 x 203 mm). LINK.

Susan Goldman (no stranger to the OPG blog- read her interview here) is one of our contemporary printmakers from DC. We have represented her work for several years now, and her new series, entitled “Outside the Margin” is an intriguing transition from her previous work. While smaller in size than most of her other prints, you can certainly link the thematic elements to her earlier monotypes. In the past, Susan has worked with the image of an amphora, exploring and celebrating ancient civilizations’ reverence for the object. Homer describes the vessel as the “Prima Materia”, a metaphor for the womb of the earth. Swirling and blossoming, Goldman’s amphorae mirror the female silhouette as it generates and nurtures new life. In her new series, Goldman uses the motif of an amphora, but layers in new pattern work and symbolism-like concentric circles and blossoms.
“This varied edition evolved out of mixing my earlier ideas about pattern inspired by travel to Morocco and my new ideas about simplifying my approach to imagery of flowers, targets and amphorae. The layering of multiple print mediums relates to an archaeology of process, what is below is mysterious and fragmented, but as one uncovers the clues, a new picture emerges that references the past and the present.”- Susan Goldman
Outside the Margin (1). Susan Goldman. Screenprint monotype with woodcut, 2014. Signed, titled, dated, and editioned on back by artist in pencil. Lily Press stamp in red ink on back. Paper size 10 x 8" (254 x 203 mm).  LINK.

Outside the Margin (1). Susan Goldman. Screenprint monotype with woodcut, 2014. Signed, titled, dated, and editioned on back by artist in pencil. Lily Press stamp in red ink on back. Paper size 10 x 8″ (254 x 203 mm). LINK.

Outside the Margin (2). Susan Goldman. Screenprint monotype with woodcut, 2014. Signed, titled, dated, and editioned on back by artist in pencil. Lily Press stamp in red ink on back. Paper size 10 x 8" (254 x 203 mm). LINK.

Outside the Margin (2). Susan Goldman. Screenprint monotype with woodcut, 2014. Signed, titled, dated, and editioned on back by artist in pencil. Lily Press stamp in red ink on back. Paper size 10 x 8″ (254 x 203 mm). LINK.

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