The Printed Picture JAIPUR | Aug 8, 2017 - Oct 6, 2017
MUMBAI | Aug 26, 2016 - Oct 1, 2016
DELHI | Oct 13, 2012 - Nov 3, 2012

A print is an original work of art created and printed by hand by an artist or a professional printing assistant from a ‘matrix’ – a plate, block of stone, wood or stencil. The image is created on the matrix and the artist takes a limited number of impressions or prints off it. These impressions are numbered and signed by the artist and belong to a limited edition, and this makes the print an original work of art and not a reproduction. Printmaking consists of a wide range of processes: relief printmaking which consists of techniques like engraving, woodcut and linocut; Planographic Processes such as lithography and oleography, Intaglio Processes such as drypoint, etching, aquatint, mezzotint, photo processes and collography, and Serigraphy, where the image is printed through a silk screen on to the paper.
Printmaking arrived in India in the 16th century when visiting European Jesuits brought the first printing presses to Goa. It flourished as an industry under colonial British rule, and the growth of the vernacular printing industry spawned several indigenous schools of printmaking located in the bazaars of urban centres like Calcutta, Pune, Bombay, Mysore and Lahore.
Curated by artist and scholar Dr. Paula Sengupta, the exhibition charts printmaking’s eventful journey in India from its inception as a tool of the colonial enterprise to its rapid success in the printing industry in the 18th century, and the entry of the Indian bazaar print in the hands of the artisan as well as the art school-trained artist. It examines the changes in themes, techniques and aesthetic triggered by modernism, whose first seeds are sown in Santiniketan and Calcutta and seen in the works of stalwarts like Ramendranath Chakravorty, Gaganendranath Tagore and Haren Das, the subsequent expansion of printmaking to various regional art centres and institutions spread across the country, and the increasing presence of technology in printmaking. These centres, with their ongoing European influences, have produced at least two generations of gifted printmakers, and the exhibition records the contribution of such pioneering Indian artist-printmakers as Somnath Hore, Jyoti Bhatt, Krishna Reddy, Kanwal Krishna and Jagmohan Chopra, and also the work of the younger generation of talented printmakers represented by artists such as Anupam Sud and R. Palaniappan.