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World Print One: Folio Seventy Three
World Print One: Folio Seventy-Three
San Francisco: World Print Council, 1973
Edition of 60
Anonymous Gift
During the Cold War, prints provided an opportunity for artists on both sides of political barriers to share their work and ideas. Although it's hard to imagine now, travel to and from Iron Curtain countries was nearly impossible and mail within, to and from communist countries was censored. The Soviet empire, however, was not completely monolithic, and some countries retained a measure of autonomy that allowed support for artists within and to a more limited extent beyond their borders. International exhibitions, which became popular in the late 19th century, provided a platform for showcasing a country's art. In the Cold War era, international exhibitions flourished. Printmaking was a medium of choice because of its long art historical tradition and because prints, usually produced in multiple and on paper, can be mailed without prohibitive risk. During the 1970s, exchanges and direct communication became more fluid thanks to the discourse established by the international exhibits. Among the dozens of world-wide print exhibitions organized during the 1950s, 1960s, 1970s and later, some flourished and others lasted only brief but valuable lives in difficult times. "World Print One: Folio Seventy Three," represents the first of four international print exhibitions organized in 1973, 1977, 1980 and 1983 by World Print Council in San Francisco and shown at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. Riva Castlemen, Curator of Prints and Illustrated Books, Museum of Modern Art, New York; Masayoshi Homma, Deputy Director of the National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo; and Zoran Krisnik, founder and director of The Biennial of Graphic Art, in Ljubljana, Slovenia (part of Yugoslavia until 1991), selected 120 prints for the exhibit from thousands of works of art submitted from 63 countries. Twenty prints entered in an optional category were commissioned in editions of 60 for "Portfolio Seventy Three." Purchases of the portfolio helped fund the project. Technically and thematically, it is difficult to distinguish the prints by nationality or political persuasion. The most traditional techniques, etching and woodblock, are represented, but newer methods of silkscreen and lithography, especially used with photographic and photomechanical processes, are most prevalent. These technologies in some cases provide the kind of emotional coolness found earlier in the formal abstractions of Ten X Ten, but in others the photographic processes amplify deep psychological mysteries. These enigmatic, introverted and dark images express a different and more pessimistic world view than is seen in the American portfolios. It's harder to be cool, perhaps, when your lives are dominated by Cold War politics, surrounded by the material consequences of World War II, and threatened by the harrowing prospect of a thermonuclear event.

 World Print One: Folio Seventy Three San Francisco: World Print Council, 1973 Edition of 60 (Artists listed from top to bottom / left to right) Jerry Rudquist, Gorazd Sefran, John Crane Dobson, John Link, Alberto Biasi, Getulio Alviani, Antonio Frasconi, Valentin Oman, Manfred Mohr, Janez Bernik, Gerd Winner, Par Gunnar Thelander, Shin Kamiya, Kosuke Kimura, Takesada Matsutani, Adriana Maraz, Hodaka Yoshida, Michael Ware, Jennifer Dickson, James P. Welch

world print folio installation photo


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Last Updated: 10/26/12