For the 26th installment of the IFPDA Fine Art Print Fair, at the cavernous Javits Center, a notably selective group of 81 dealers has managed to secure the quiet intimacy within their spaces that is conducive to the close examination of the finer details of major works. On view are prints by canonic figures such as Durer, Rembrandt, Munch, Picasso, Miro, Gauguin (a newly discovered work), Freud and Hockney, alongside a subtle but stimulating selection of fresh new commissions and projects by contemporary artists including Tara Donovan, Laure Provost and Julie Mehretu. (...)
"The Sick Child.I" by Edvard Munch
Edvard Munch at Frederick Mulder
It is amazing the psychological impact that can be exerted by a print, which lays its own claim to being a masterpiece even if it is qualified by the idea of being a “multiple.” The absolute heart punch of the fair for me was delivered by Edvard Munch’s The Sick Child, the artist’s maiden voyage into color lithography.
Like Giacometti, Munch exploited the atmospherics of the scribbly, echoing line to add emotional and visual resonance to a portrait (as he did in the similarly delicate portrait of the poet Stéphane Mallarmé). The work was printed in 1896 from four stones, the “keystone” printed in black followed by grey, yellow and red. The crisper outline of the girl’s face, traced in black, is reminiscent of the clean silhouettes of Toulouse-Lautrec and early Picasso. The foggy grey and hazy yellow surround her in expressionist angst. The coup de grace, however, is delivered by the red, which flows down her hair and dangles before her eyes. Its effect is riveting. According to the gallery, the artist considered the work to be his greatest moment in the medium.
The same booth has a rare Picasso print, the rough-and-tumble La Minotauromachie, that was
never released to the public but reserved only for private distribution to important contacts. As dense as a late-state Rembrandt etching, and as full of incident as one of his Ballets Russes theater set designs, it is a five-act drama on a sheet of white paper.
To read the article in full...