The Unfinished Print
Art Daily reports:
For the first time in its history, The Frick Collection (in New York) will host a major special exhibition this summer that is devoted solely to prints and the process of printmaking. This special presentation poses questions that have preoccupied artists, critics, and collectors for centuries: When is a work of art complete? and When do further additions detract from the desired result? These issues have a particular history in the graphic arts, where images are developed in stages and often distributed at various points in their making.
Featured artists, European masters from the fifteenth to the early twentieth century, include Albrecht Dürer, Hendrik Goltzius, Parmigianino, Anthony van Dyck, Rembrandt van Rijn, Giovanni Battista Piranesi, Edouard Manet, Edgar Degas, August Rodin, Felix Bracquemond, Paul Gauguin, Edvard Munch, and Jacques Villon.
What follows is a chronicle of the complex workings of the artistic imagination revealed through the unfinished print and the changing estimation of artistic process that it provoked. There are many different ways to define incompleteness in a print.
The online exhibition shows several beautiful examples of some of the artists’ works with descriptions of the techniques and process – very helpful to those wishing to learn more about printmaking.
One historical note I would like to add is that the practise of signing and numbering editions did not begin until near the end of the 19th century, I think it was.