Printmaking at the Tamarind Institute

9 Oct


Roy De Forest, a Tamarind artist. "Untitled."


Printmaking is awesome. I’ll feel an emotional connection more naturally and immediately with lithographs and woodcuts than with, say, paintings, which seem like more of a “head thing” as a medium, and less easily accessible. That’s not to say that I love prints/don’t love paintings, or that inaccessibility is necessarily ill-advised, but it seems right somehow to “think” about painting and “feel” about printing.

I was interested to read a post on Art21 about the 50th birthday of the Tamarind Institute, which trains people in lithography and does research and outreach about it. Founded in Los Angeles and moving to Albuquerque ten years later, it was part of a movement in the ’60s and ’70s to bring back printing as a fine art. Even though it’s not getting a lot of media coverage now, there are a lot of successful print artists.


Kiki Smith, a Tamarind artist. "Afternoon" (2010).


Prints, like photographs, sort of have “auras” and sort of don’t. They are produced in editions that are all basically the same. They seem more ready to be viewed in a variety of contexts. In the art market, they cost less than works that are singular. Still, prints aren’t as reproducible as internet art, which refuses monetary value even more.


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