Printmaking is essentially a linear medium. How, then, to achieve the tonal richness of painting? Quest for Colour explores the inventive techniques through which printmakers from Albrecht Dürer to Andy Warhol have sought to answer this challenge.
The rise of printmaking in Renaissance Europe produced a technological revolution that allowed visual images to circulate more widely than ever before. From book illustrations to maps, prints fostered the growth of visual communication. As works of art produced by the hundreds, they offered inexpensive substitutes for painting. Yet, something was missing: the linear, black-and-white medium of print could not match the pictorial richness that painters achieved through tone and colour. Over the next five centuries, printmakers invented a diverse array of methods for rivaling the colouristic effects of painting and drawing. Some learned to print with coloured inks, while others chose to embrace the power of black and white. This exhibition explores the creative techniques by which printmakers have brought vivid colour and tonal depth to the graphic arts, enabling printed images to engage, inform, and delight the eye in new and expressive ways.
Curated by Queen’s University art history students in ARTH 496/802 (Fall 2019) under the direction of Professor Stephanie Dickey, Bader Chair in Northern Baroque Art: Megan Afshar Mehrabi, Victoria Babcock, Abby Berry, Alice Cameron, Spencer Cowl, Madeleine Dempster, Taylor Diamond, Fiona Fox, Amelia Glancy, Katie Hetherington, Josie Hillier, Madeline Legg, Katherine Marshall, Daria Melnikov, Emily Oelbaum, Delaney Ryan, Julia Saccucci, Emily Vilé, Maggie Whitmore and Jennifer Zhao.