Nine Fish Art Gallery    9th September - 30th September 2023

Printmaking is historically one of the oldest methods of the reproduction of visual imagery and documentation. Democratic by nature and with aesthetic possibilities much different than painting, it was a revolution in the way that art was created and distributed in the beginning.

A laborious and time-intensive process, printmaking in India has fewer practitioners and collectors than the West or the Far East. My first exposure to traditional printmaking methods was at the Sir JJ School of Art, where I learned about the medium as a reproduction method of visuals and a form of documentation. This built a curiosity within me towards printmaking, where I sought to learn and discover more about it. Over the years, during my curatorial practice, however, I have not seen enough printmaking exhibitions covering various techniques and methods. My passion for printmaking has increasingly led me down various paths in the exploration of printmaking and its representations.

Production inherent to the method and the painstaking process itself, as well as the set-up needed to produce prints, has led to fewer artists taking up this genre and thus also a lesser demand for collecting. However, print editions are originals. This is the inherent quality of prints, and this is still to be fully appreciated by many art collectors in our country. The sheer time, painstaking efforts and often endless varied experimentations make it a fine art just as any other, yet unlike any other. The viewer can negotiate and engage with the meaning and aesthetic of printmaking, but not with the complexity of the printmaking process.

“Editions,” is re-examining the historicity of printmaking with multiple techniques and methods used in the past across various art schools in India. Each school developed its own ideas and philosophies about printmaking, and Editions highlights our young printmaking artists and their traditional and contemporary art praxis. The thirty artists featured here are from various art schools across seventeen states, working in traditional and modern printmaking.

With this exhibition, we have also undertaken a mini printmaking portfolio initiative. Here we curatorially attempt at bridging the gap between the traditional crafts and contemporary fine art practices in this genre. The artists participating are continuing the exercise that reflects back to the early days where the Sir JJ School of Art’s print studio was used for traditional methods of printmaking, ultimately redefining craft. In an increasingly virtual world, the time consuming, laborious process of printmaking stands out. Its tactile and versatile nature lends itself to the making of a democratic art.

This exhibition brings together various schools of narrative, and what results is a truly contemporary exhibition, with each printmaker’s essence coming alive. This exhibition is a tribute to the art of printmaking and its history. As a curator, I observe these artists from different schools come together and present their work to a wide audience.

The physicality of the process is the ultimate Art.