IFPDA Executive Director Jenny Gibbs reached out to Elizabeth Rudy, Carl A. Weyerhaeuser Associate Curator of Prints at Harvard Art Museums, to select a list of favorites from the Fine Art Print Fair online.
Every print is unique. One of the joys of studying them is ferreting out differences between impressions, especially those that are at first imperceptible. Print Fair, with its veritable ocean of impressions, offers the constant thrill of discovery, from seeing impressions that compare favorably or unfavorably to those you know well, to stumbling upon states that scholars have not yet been identified, and much more. There is a special pleasure in coming across impressions that are distinguished by the addition of drawing media – inscriptions, corrections, or hand-coloring. To know that an artist or an owner singled out a specific sheet for a dedication or annotation is exciting and prompts new questions about the print’s creation and lifetime. Other rarities such as trial and proof impressions are equally enticing, for they illuminate a provisional, sometimes pivotal moment in the development of a print. Singularity is the hallmark of certain print processes too, of course, such as monotype and collage. They complicate and challenge the definition of prints as “multiples,” and always enthrall with their elevation of the ephemeral, non-reproducible gesture. These 12 selections are prints that I would have enjoyed examining at the fair this year, among many, many others!