Four centuries of printmaking on show in Kolkata

Kolkata, Sep 5 : Art and history enthusiasts are flocking to an exhibition that has chronicled four centuries of the art of printmaking in India.

Printmaking is a fine art form where single or multiple impressions are taken off a screen or plate.

The fortnight-long exhibition titled "The Printed Picture: Four Centuries of Indian Printmaking" was inaugurated Thursday.

Organised by the Delhi Art Gallery, 170 artworks spanning four centuries from the 1700s to the 1990s have been mounted with explanatory notes.

The exhibits takes viewers through the journey of printmaking, from its introduction to India from Europe as a commercial tool during the colonial period to its recognition as a form of fine art in the modern era.

It showcases works by Indian artist-printmakers like Somnath Hore, Jyoti Bhatt, Krishna Reddy, Kanwal Krishna, Jagmohan Chopra and Pradip Bothra.

Defined as an original work of art, prints are created from a matrix -- a plate, block of stone, wood or stencil.

After the artist takes a specific number of impressions or prints off it, they are signed and numbered by the artist which makes then different editions.

"You work from a matrix like a wooden block or lithography stone... so there are more than one impressions and they belong to an edition and therefore it is an original work of art and not a reproduction," curator and scholar Paula Sengupta told IANS.

Printmaking is achieved through a range of processes like relief printmaking (that includes engraving), planographic methods like lithography, etching, serigraphy (a silk screen is used to print the image onto the paper) among others.

"Prints are priced lower than paintings or sculptures... it is low budget art form," said Sengupta.

The opening ceremony saw the release of a twin-volume set of publications penned by Sengupta featuring around 400 plates, charting diverse printmaking techniques and periods.

--IANS (Posted on 05-09-2013)

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