XXL, the print reinvented at the Musée des Beaux-Arts in Caen

Wood 0113, 2013, Bois gravé et lithographie sur pierre 250 °— 133 cm. Édition à 14 ex Éditeur et imprimeur : Michael Woolworth, Paris. Courtesy Michael Woolworth © Djamel Tatah, ADAGP, Paris, 2019 – Musée des Beaux-Arts de Caen – Photo P. Touzard

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Wood 0113, 2013, Bois gravé et lithographie sur pierre 250 °— 133 cm. Édition à 14 ex Éditeur et imprimeur : Michael Woolworth, Paris. Courtesy Michael Woolworth © Djamel Tatah, ADAGP, Paris, 2019 – Musée des Beaux-Arts de Caen – Photo P. Touzard
#CAEN Imposing both in terms of the size of the works and the worldwide reputation of the artists on display, XXL Contemporary Monumental Prints brings together some forty pieces in spectacular formats, from Georg Baselitz to David Hockney including Daniel Buren, Richard Serra, Djamel Tatah and Eduardo Chillida.
500 years after the monumental “Maximilian 1st’s Arc de Triomphe” by Dürer, which in its time gathered more than thirty-six thousand printed sheets, the artists on display here are more than ever in favour of large format and are taking up this challenge, which is just as intellectual, visual, technical and economic.
A collector’s item but also and above all a research space and a field of experimentation, all of them willingly play with the limits of printmaking, as Georg Baselitz reminds us to explain his choice of large formats “First of all, it was a question of doing something that was difficult to fit, it had to be cumbersome, breaking the framework imposed by the printmaking studio for engraving, the natural framework”
Make it big to come out of the shadows, make it big to make it visible!
The notion of “multiples”, which is the raison d’être of printmaking (or photography), is often denied or undermined in the mind of a contemporary art collector. In Caen, the proofs presented are often unique and the prints very limited, as if to sanctify this rarefaction of the image.
By pushing back the boundaries, the artists have transformed the print into a heterodox object that disrupts the very notion of categorization. Especially since unusual printing media (fabrics, wall coverings, rubber) are complemented by new techniques that blur their contours even more: photogravure, lithography, serigraphy, metal engraving combine with each other and compete with other processes such as the imprinting of objects, bodies or even collage.
The Caen Fine Arts Museum, with its extensive collection of ancient engravings, explores the medium and its place in contemporary art every year. We are here at the border of the print. The plastic, intellectual and artistic diversity resonate in a scenography developed with as much taste as passion and brings, for this new edition, a XXL look at the new conceptions of printed creation.
from May 25 to September 15, 2019

Dominique Vautrin

Dominique Vautrin is a French photographer. Influenced by American street photography, he develops during his various projects, a dark work that depicts a society in a phase of anonymization. The c...

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