Art historian and curator Elizabeth Jacklin’s The Art of Print: From Hogarth to Hockney is a concise and beautifully illustrated introduction to printmaking that uses highlights from Tate’s extensive print collection.
Prints have played a unique and important role in the history of art and image. This engaging book explores the numerous ways artists have embraced printmaking over the course of three centuries. Each of the works illustrated has been selected to reflect the broad spectrum of techniques and purposes, which are explained in clear and concise terms. The featured artworks are among the highlights of Tate’s extensive but little-known print collection, a remarkable grouping no book has previously attempted to survey.
Among the leading artists for whom printmaking has been an important and experimental part of their practice are William Hogarth, George Stubbs, William Blake, J.M.W. Turner, Pablo Picasso, Barbara Hepworth, Andy Warhol, Lucian Freud, Bridget Riley, Paula Rego, William Kentridge, and Kara Walker. Yet printmaking remains somewhat mysterious as a topic, perhaps because original prints are often understood as reproductions, or wrongly given a similar status to preparatory sketches and archival material. In fact, prints are finished artworks, often the result of highly considered creative experimentation with print processes.
Chapters are structured around different types of printmaking, allowing each section to reveal the various ways artists have engaged with the different techniques. In addition to complete reproductions of more than 120 works, carefully selected details enable the reader to examine closely some of the remarkable visual effects seen in the prints.