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Uttam Kumar Basak
The IGNCA and the Manhattan Graphic Centre, USA hosted an
exhibition on printmaking and a seminar complementing it. The
exhibition 'Multiple Encounters' was inaugurated on November 2, by
Dr. L.M. Singhvi, the then President IGNCA, in the presence of Mr. Adnan
Siddiqi, Cultral Counsellor, Embassy of USA. The exhibition had on
display prints of 75 Indian and 40 U.S. artists. World over
printmaking has developed as an art. It is a powerful medium of
artistic expression. In India, printmaking is popularly used in
textiles as block print, where designs made out in wooden blocs are repeated
on the material, sometimes using different colours.
Printmaking involves the process of reproducing creations of an artist in other mediums. Some of the popular media of printmaking are the graphic print, the original print, relief processes, woodcut, linocut, wood engraving, collagraph, intaglio process, engraving, dry point, etching, embossing, lithography, screen printing and mixed media. Of these, linocut, woodcut engraving and collagraph are all processes of relief. Intaglio process involves using a relief bloc but the ink is held inside its grooves. Dry point is a variant of engraving and so is aquatint.
The exhibition had on display prints made by the artists themselves. The show as aimed at popularizing printmaking. On the closing day, on November 14, former Prime Minister Shri V.P. Singh released the colourful catalogue of the exhibition.
At the one-day seminar on 'Aesthetics of Printmaking' held on November 3, five papers were read by print makers of India and Manhattan Graphic Centre, U.S. They said that printmaking was a very powerful medium of artistic expression. Printmaking techniques were relatively new to India compared to painting and sculpture. Printmaking was not widely understood or appreciated. Further, the confusion over "Original Prints" and "Reproductions" had drawn a veil of ambiguity over this beautiful medium of expression, the participants said.
Sham Sunder, Medium-Spit Bite & Aqua Tint
It was not until 1960s that a series of printmaking workshops were organized by the Lalit Kala Akademy. Some of the artists whose works were displayed said that printmaking in the contemporary art scene was most misunderstood and was not given the same place as painting or sculpture. Due to the lack of awareness of the merits of prints, the notion of originality was often confused with monotony and photomechanical reproduction of paintings and drawings, further compound this problem. Various group of artists have worked in different parts of India in an attempt to create a general awareness about printmaking and to dispel all doubts.
Frederick Mershimer, Medium-Mezzotint
Copyright IGNCAŠ 2004