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Triennial of Contemporary Prints

After a photographic spring, the summer will be dedicated to the contemporary print with a new edition of the Triennial of Contemporary Prints which will gather artists of the whole world. Widely present in collections, the engraving is a part of the DNA of MBAL. Resolutely turned to the diversity of the field of the contemporary printed art and the new territories of the creation, the museum is interested in this exhibition in the workshops of printing and publishing. Indeed, it is thanks to the know-how of these places and to their passion that number of artists has the opportunity to produce publishing and to experiment new techniques of impression, new supports, papers and ink.

On the occasion of the 9th edition of the Triennial of Contemporary Prints, MBAL has then invited printers and publishers to present a selection of works by artists who worked in close collaboration with them:

STPI – Creative Workshop & Gallery, established since 2002 in Singapore, is a unique place in Asia that allows artists to conduct rich experiments on printing and paper. Niels Borch Jensen, who founded Borch Editions in Copenhagen in 1979, is considered one of the world’s leading producers and publishers of graphic art and works with world-renowned artists. Finally, the Crown Point Press workshop, opened in San Francisco in 1962, offers artists the opportunity to engrave plates and use inks in exceptional conditions.

The Triennial is also an opportunity to commemorate Switzerland’s strong interest in print making. A room is devoted to the Swiss Engraving Society, which celebrates its centenary in 2018. MBAL has been a member since 1976 and has therefore acquired many works made by Swiss and international artists that were commissionned by this Society. The exhibition presents a selection of prints made in the 21st century. In addition, a space is dedicated to our collection which presents several masterpieces owned by MBAL and rarely displayed to the public.

Finally, wishing to display research around new graphic technologies, a double carte blanche is given to the Center for Future Publishing, founded in 2017 by designer Demian Conrad and hosted by the Geneva School of Art and Design, as well as to American artist Penelope Umbrico, who was invited by MBAL to experiment in this unique laboratory. To complete this rich survey dedicated to contemporary print making, the museum commissioned graphic designer Anette Lenz to make a limited edition print. The work – a silkscreen printed in 200 copies – will be available in our bookshop.

The exhibition received the support of the Loterie Romande, the city of Le Locle, the Société des beaux-arts et du musée du Locle, the Fondation Bonhôte pour l’art contemporain, the Fondation de Famille Sandoz, Swiss Life, the Fondation Erna et Curt Burgauer, Dr. Georg und Josi Guggenheim-Stiftung and the Fondation Art en jeu. An interview with the artist Penelope Umbrico appears in the series “Could you talk about…”.

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