Signées et numérotées
A print is an original work. The procedure used allows the artist to make several examples that are then signed and numbered. We also talk in terms of 'multiple' and, more precisely in the case of a work printed on paper, of 'print' (a term referring to all forms of printing on paper).
At the initiative of the artist or the gallery, these publication projects have very different forms according to the work of each person, the technique used and the printer involved in collaboration. Each is a different story and always a joint project.
Art publishing has been the prime work of the gallery since it was started in the 1960s by Jacques Putman (1926-1994), a Belgian art critic who became an art dealer and publisher. He worked with Bram van Velde, Pierre Alechinsky, Jean Messagier and Max Ernst, to mention only a few. He was joined by Catherine Béraud (1949-2009) whom he married. The couple developed this very special field of contemporary print publishing, opening up to more collaboration with Jean-Pierre Pincemin, Pierre Buraglio, Claude Viallat, Georg Baselitz, Geneviève Asse, Balthasar Burkhard and many other artists. They were not printers but worked as contacts between the latter and the artists.
When Catherine Putman opened the gallery in her name in Rue Quincampoix in 2005 she devoted it to 'works on paper', maintaining the work of art publisher while extending it to unique pieces on paper.
The exhibition shows the great variety of contemporary prints: copper engravings, etchings or aquatints by Georg Baselitz and Alain Clément, lithographs by Frédéric Poincelet and xylographs by Gérard Traquandi. The works are made using traditional techniques applied with know-how and knowledge of printmaking.
Other works are more experimental. Bernard Moninot engraves plates in cardboard using a Stanley knife. Claude Viallat makes prints using the same plate in cardboard and silkscreen inks, changing the colours with each passage: these are referred to as monoprints. When working using drypoint and aquatint, Eloïse Van der Heyden places a branch of mimosa, different each time, on the copper plate and so the prints are variations. Pierre Buraglio varies his materials and enhances his prints, now using the development of digital techniques. Artists like Georges Rousse and Sophie Ristelhueber use pigmented digital prints to make very high quality prints.
For these artists making a print means working differently in comparison with the usual techniques of painting, sculpture, drawing or photography. Printmaking completes other disciplines and needs other requirements and technical constraints. It is also a way of making works by famous artists more accessible. The gallery, which mainly organises monographic exhibitions often focused on unique works on paper by its artists, is pleased to display this set of works and focus on this singular art publishing activity.