If you believed that art was just about painting on canvases, this exhibition might change your perception. Printmaking is the focus of A/P II: The Print Portfolio, an exhibition featuring prints by 40 printmakers from Sir JJ School of Art and MS University, and is an attempt to make people aware of the difference between photo mechanical reproductions, and original prints (A/P is a term used by printmakers and refers to the artist).
“It’s a technique where an original print is made by traditional printmakers. The artist pulls a print of his etched or drawn image on a metal, wood, stone plate and other materials. They transfer the image on a surface using ink with a printing press. The prints that are pulled are of a limited edition, thus making it valuable,” said Priyasri Patodia, director at Priyasri Art Gallery.
She adds that printmaking also includes multiples which are reproductions of artworks by masters and are sold as serigraphs. These are high quality photocopies and it’s the signature of the master artist that gives it an intrinsic value.
Some of the artists whose works will be on display include Avinash Motghare, Deepali Patkar, Girish Urkude and Gaythri D. The show covers the nuances of print techniques including etching, woodcut, aquatint, lithography, viscosity, colograph, soft ground, screen print, gum bite, serigraphy and digital, engraving. The first A/P exhibition was held last year .
However, this art form has been relatively lesser known, Patodia attributes it to several factors including the challenges involved in the art. “Print making involves a technical backup. After completing the BFA and MFA’s in printmaking, the printmaker has to find a studio to work which is equipped with etching or lithography machines. There aren’t many such studios in India, apart from the Lalit Kala Academy. We also have AQ@Priyasri — The Artist Studio, a studio in Baroda dedicated to young printmakers,” she explains.
The starting price of a single print ranges between `4,500 to `7,000, and a portfolio consisting of six prints could begin from `25,000 up to `35,000. “Print is an opportunity for collectors who want to get an original piece of art home without pinching their pockets. We hope to explore this process driven medium of art where the artist is involved in every stage and the end is always a surprise. They also make for fabulous gifts,” Patolia