Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Just Not a Big Fan of Prints

Where: National Gallery of Art

When: through October 4, 2015

The National Gallery has recently added to its collection of prints, and they've set up a display on the ground floor to highlight their new acquisitions.  The show is in the two-room space across from the main special exhibit rooms.  I like this space; you get a very manageable number of things to see, making it ideal for a lunch hour excursion.

These prints are from the Italian Renaissance, a period which has been celebrated more for the historical importance of its prints, rather than their beauty.  The wall notes suggest that it is time to reconsider this assessment and look at these works as works of art, not just as technical achievements.

One of items on display is the "Hyperotomachia Poliphili," which is billed as the most beautiful illustrated book of the Italian Renaissance.  I wish the prints had been in color, as black and white is just not very interesting to me.  I tried to be enthralled with the artwork, but it was hard going.  I did appreciate the typeface and the arrangement of the print on the pages on view - it was shaped like a banner, coming to a point at the bottom - very clever, I thought.

Verdict: If you like prints, go see this show.  If not, well, you can safely skip it.

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