1950s authentic vintage photogravure by Willy Maywald
Something of a one-man movement, Jean Arp could (and did) make anything into art. Best-known for his biomorphic sculptures, and one of the most versatile creative minds of the early-20th century, he fashioned sculptures out of plaster, stone and bronze, and also expressed himself in paintings, drawings, collages, and poems. His approach to form, often referred to as organic abstraction, was remarkably consistent: his wavy lines suggested plants, body parts and other natural motifs, while remaining entirely abstract. Like an extraterrestrial on earth for the very first time, Arp's genius was in presenting visual information as if he is first seeing it. Transformation, growth, fecundity, and metamorphosis are among the dominant themes in his work.
Photogravure is an intaglio printmaking process utilizing a carefully etched copper plate made from the original negative/image. Prints are made by pressing suitable paper heavily down upon the inked copper plate which has been intricately etched to varying depths corresponding with the actual tonality of the original negative. This precisely etched plate combined with a fine "honeycomb" screen controls the amount of ink to be transferred to the paper at any given point in direct proportion to the variation of the tone in the original image. The result is a true continuous tone print which combines many qualities of traditional silver based photograph with a tactile feel similar to an etching, engraving, or lithograph. Rich in tonal detail, the photogravure process produces delicately rendered shades for a look which is unique in the world of photographic printmaking. In the early to mid 1900's photogravure was selected for special high quality publishing and portfolio projects, but due to its significant expense and labor, the process is rarely seen today.
Print: 8" x 9"
Frame: 16.6" x 17.6"