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Announcing the APS-Sponsored Session for the 2020 CAA Conference

The Association of Print Scholars is excited to announce its selection for the APS-sponsored session at the CAA conference to be held in Chicago, February 12–15, 2020.

Registering the Matrix: Printing Matrices as Sites of Artistic Mediation

Session Chair:
Jun Nakamura, University of Michigan

Session Abstract:
Printing matrices often have storied pasts. Rembrandt’s plates were reprinted, reworked, otherwise altered, and sent under the roller until little of the artist’s hand remained. One eighteenth-century printer etched over a Rembrandt plate in the name of restoration before cutting it down into smaller plates; another printed Rembrandt’s plates with masks, plate tone, and in combination with other plates in order to create new compositions; and Rembrandt himself repurposed a plate by Hercules Segers. Beyond Rembrandt, Gauguin’s woodblocks were printed in editions by himself, by printer Louis Roy, and posthumously by Pola Gauguin. The resulting editions vary widely in inking, coloring, and support. Contemporary artists’ prints produced by publishers like Gemini G.E.L or Crown Point Press are often as much a product of collaboration with the printers as of the artist’s singular hand. While the Blocks, Plates, and Stones conference held at the Courtauld in 2017 did much to shed light on the matrix itself, examining the contributions of printers and publishers adds complexity to notions of authorship and illuminates processes particular to the medium; and looking at the afterlife and reuse of matrices provides evidence of artistic encounters, exchanges, and processes. This session seeks papers that address the printing matrix as site of mediation, across time and geography.

Papers topics might include:
- Reuse, restoration, or defacement of printing matrices
- The contributions of printers in printing other artists’ matrices
- Creative processes manifest in the printing of matrices, rather than in their making
- Collaboration via the matrix

A formal Call for Papers will be circulated with CAA's larger CFP with all sessions soliciting papers later this summer. Stay tuned!


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