An exhibition currently on display at the Seattle Art Museum, in Washington, looks at the history of printmaking through the work of six major artists. “Graphic Masters: Dürer, Rembrandt, Hogarth, Goya, Picasso, R. Crumb” presents more than 400 works by those artists. On view through August 28, it is Drawing magazine’s exhibition of the month for July.
The art on display spans more than 500 years, from the German Renaissance artist Albrecht Dürer (1471–1528) to the contemporary artist R. Crumb (1943–), who came to fame on the basis of his “underground comix” in the 1960s and 1970s.
Many of the featured artists created works in series, and the exhibition affords the opportunity to view the full sequence of Hogarth’s The Rake’s Progress, Goya’s Los Caprichos and Crumb’s Book of Genesis, among others. Magnifying glasses are provided to allow visitors to compare the work of different artists in all their detail.
According to the museum, “The prints in this exhibition—woodcuts, engravings and etchings—all share a process that is as much sculptural as pictorial. Artists carved their designs into the surface of a woodblock or metal plate that was then inked and printed onto a piece of paper. This simple process provided countless possibilities for personal expression and technical experimentation. Prints were first valued for the ability to produce multiple identical prints from a single image, but some artists instead preferred to experiment right on the plate and ended up creating several versions, or ‘states,’ of the same image.”
You can enjoy a preview of the works in the show below. To keep up with the latest drawing exhibitions, be sure to subscribe to Drawing magazine.