Why you should start collecting prints

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Prints are works produced by an artist often in limited edition, that are numbered and signed or not. In the last few years, prints have become a growing segment of the contemporary art market. Whether in serigraphy, lithography or etching, multiple works all result from techniques that guarantee the quality of said reproduction. Ideal to start a modern and contemporary art collection, prints have met with great success within the young crowd… but also within that of the more shrewd collectors ! 

 

NIKI DE SAINT PHALLE - Le monstre, 1995 (Original handsigned lithograph and numbered in pencil)

NIKI DE SAINT PHALLE – Le monstre, 1995 (Original handsigned lithograph and numbered in pencil)

Prints, because of their affordable prices, make art more accessible to the larger public. It is also a means for artists to increase their diffusion and thus their notoriety. In making themselves more and more know by a young audience, artists acquire more visibility and contribute to democratizing art.

VICTOR VASARELY - Vonal-Fegn, 1973 (colored etching)

VICTOR VASARELY – Vonal-Fegn, 1973 (colored etching)

In the last decade or so, prints have made a big comeback on the international artistic scene, as is proof the recent launch of en event dedicated to prints and printmakers, the MAD or that of an international magazine that deals with multiple artworks, ARTisNotFlat. The latter positions itself as a guide for print buyers and also serves as a catalogue that covers all the current favorites in contemporary art. Long deemed irrelevant as simple copies of and not artworks in themselves, prints are now increasingly popular. It is a good compromise for buyers who wish to have great artworks without having to spend too much money.

ROY LICHTENSTEIN - Girl with ball (1981), 2005 (Lithography, signed in the plate, new)

ROY LICHTENSTEIN – Girl with ball (1981), 2005 (Lithography, signed in the plate, new)

Concerning artworks on paper, printmakers generally produced between 50 and 300 copies depending on the technology used and the artist’s desire. Certain prints have more value than others. Pablo Picasso would spend hours with his printmaker before coming out with around thirty copies each numbered and signed whereas Salvador Dali signed white paper sheets before the actual printing process. Andy Warhol turned printing into a personal artistic expression. In this way, the printing tool, how much handiwork is necessary and the quality of the medium used all explain the variety of prints’ prices. For instance, a lithography is usually more expensive than a serigraphy because its technical execution is more difficult. A more recent technique, digital printing allows for just as convincing results.

More than a vulgar copy in all its forms, a print can be considered as a work of art that thus deserves any aspiring collector’ attention.

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