art discussion 31

how has the invention of printmaking influenced society today? Why has printmaking been important? Choose an artist or artwork listed below and discuss the importance of it. This will take a bit of research, but as usual, I’ve provided some links to help. That being said, don’t just rely on the research you find. Make some assumptions!

  • Johannes Gutenberg: consider the idea of reproductions, particularly books, a new idea in Europe at the time, and not a popular one anywhere else in the world
  • William Hogarth: consider not just the fact that he created reproductions here, but also consider the kind of information he was spreading
  • Henri Toulouse-Lautrec: take into account the kind of work he created and the world in which he inhabited; what was his ultimate message?
  • Sun Mad by Ester Hernandez: what is the message behind this piece? Why is it important that messages like these be easily reproduced?
  • Shephard Fairey: Though he works in street art, his works begin as stencils. These are simplified versions of silkscreening; the matrix is the stencil itself, allowing Shephard to create the same image over and over again. Why is this important? What is his ultimate message?
  • Martin Luther King, Jr by Ben Shahn: Consider the message behind the print. Why do you think Shahn created this piece?

As usual, make sure that you consider the medium, the artist or style, and WHEN it was made. Also consider the WHY. Printmaking is not an easy medium; it often takes a great deal of physical labor to create even one print, so why did artists do it? Make sure to also include what you think about the work/artist that you choose

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