In the exhibition Unique. Monotype and Copy, the Kunstmuseum Basel explores the question: What is the meaning and fascination of the one-off print?
Impressionists such as Edgar Degas (1834-1917) and Camille Pissarro (1830-1903) appreciated light effects and the blurring that could be created with monotype and copying. Surrealist artists such as Hans Arp (1886-1966) celebrated strange pictorial worlds that could be created thanks to the randomness of unique printing processes. In monotype (from the Greek: mono = alone, single, one and typos = print), the ink is applied by hand with a brush or other object directly onto a smooth printing surface. When printing on paper, it is never entirely predictable how and how much of the ink will end up on the paper. This interplay of deliberate design and random result gives monotypes their special charm.
The imprint is a special variant of the one-off print with paper as the print carrier, which is "imprinted" onto another sheet. Such a "blotted line" gave the hand drawings of Andy Warhol (1928-1987) the appearance of serial production. By describing the print as the actual work, he also thwarted the prevailing idea of the aura and originality of a work of art. Even today, artists still deliberately choose the monotype as a means of artistic expression. Zilla Leutenegger (*1968), for example, sensibly processed her experience of social isolation during the coronavirus pandemic using one-off prints.
The exhibition at the Kunstmuseum Basel shows around fifty works from the Kupferstichkabinett from the 19th century to the present day. The selection is supplemented by a small number of works on loan from private collections in Basel.
With works by: Otto Abt, Hans Arp, Walter Bodmer, Edgar Degas, Jean Dubuffet, Franz Fedier, Lenz Klotz, Zilla Leutenegger, Renée Levi, Alois Lichtsteiner, Claes Oldenburg, Camille Pissarro, Maja Rieder, George Sand, André Thomkins, Andy Warhol and Walter Kurt Wiemken.
Note: This text was translated by machine translation software and not by a human translator. It may contain translation errors.