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Print and Space as One

By Katerina Kyselica | Space. Absolute and infinite. Experienced or imagined. And time within. Space absorbed by an idea. We shall allow ourselves to sense the space, to be puzzled by its existence and, in this issue, to investigate the designs it can take on through the creative acts of staged interventions and intimate exercises. It’s my pleasure to invite you to enter the artist’s world in which space becomes an enduring obsession, engaging the creator in a play with dimension, scale, perception or structure.

Josip Butkovic, Courtyards VI, 2006, print installation of etchings with woodcut on paper, overall dimensions 16.4 x 16.4 feet (5 x 5 m), Gornje Vrhovine, Croatia , photograph by the artist.

Let us therefore be directed into an experiment with space in which printmaking is applied as a collaborative exploit activated through the matrix—a register of actions not necessarily taken but rather orchestrated by the artist. A review of Josip Butkovic’s work by the late art historian Darko Glavan examines such processual endeavors, performed within bucolic Croatian landscapes. Jan Mericka adds to the conversation a captivating notion of space as a dimensional network of human behavioral habits, revealing the laws of a crowd in motion by constructing diagrammatic prints. Mario Causic, on the other hand, challenges the physical border between the front and back of a print, seeing it as an opportunity for the transformation of the print into an object. Although these artists have looked beyond the print as a two-dimensional form of expression, they use conventional graphic processes, such as intaglio, screen print and woodcut. Eva Nikolova, who discusses her project with a personal connection to a place and its past, opts for an obscure technique on the fringes of photography and printmaking: cameraless, inkless cliché-verre.

In Spotlight, our new category showcasing an artist’s work from a private or public collection, curator Emily O’Leary shares the story of Vincent Hloznik’s Dreams, a 1962 linocut series from behind the Iron Curtain that ended up at Derfner Judaica Museum + The Art Collection at Hebrew Home in Riverdale, New York. This Celebrating Print issue also includes our first in-depth look into the realm of artists’ books. Dorota Folga-Januszewska returns with an exciting essay that lays a claim to the omnipresence of the artist’s book in contemporary Polish art. Book as anti-space, a monument, a complex marriage of images and texts. Invincible. Illustrative or illustrated. The process of illustration, as Dusan Kallay explains in our interview, may lead to discoveries in other media, including printmaking. Space then assumes the form of a concept that evolves through a continuous practice of sensorial interplays. Book, literature and print. In the end, everything relates to everything else.

The understanding of space, as it seems, occupies many artists’ minds. See for yourselves.


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