The fine art and craft of printmaking is an artform so ubiquitous we often take it for granted. From the screen-printed shirts we wear every day to the leaflets and posters we see on telephone poles and billboards, the omnipresence of images in our world owes a huge debt to printmaking. Humans began making stamped images in the first century, and by seventh-century China, we were printing with ink on paper. Our drive to document our lives and share our stories is an innately human urge, and printmaking has developed as an incredible tool towards that end.
From this almost primitive need to leave our mark, printmaking has evolved into a multi-faceted artform encompassing a wide variety of processes, materials, and outcomes. A new book from Princeton Architectural Press, Prints and Their Makers, by Phil Sanders, delves into all that is possible in printmaking. Reviewing relief, intaglio, photogravure, lithography, and other methods, Sanders explains the hows and whys of each form or printmaking, using beautiful examples from the best artists and printmakers working today.
While painting and sculpture often take primacy in the fine arts world, the complex and sometimes mysterious processes of printmaking offer artists new ways to express themselves outside of their regular studio practice. Working with skilled craftspeople and their studios, printshops enable artists to realize their visions in a new way, one that can often be made multiple times over and may thus be more accessible to a wider audience. Master printmakers often go uncredited, and this book gives them a chance to shine, highlighting all that is possible through their expertise and creative problem-solving.