Share on FacebookShare on Google+Tweet about this on TwitterPin on PinterestShare on LinkedInShare on TumblrEmail this to someone
  • ifpda, fine arts print

Prestigious Printmaking Association IFPDA Presents New Member Galleries

April 3, 2016
Alias of Ksenija Pantelić

For over 25 years now, The International Fine Print Dealers Association (IFPDA) has upheld the highest level of professional standard of quality and ethics while promoting the fine arts print editions and contemporary print artworks. Focusing on endorsing prints as original works of art, IFPDA has grown since the year of its founding in 1987 and its five original members to over 160 associates in 13 different countries. Acknowledging the importance of education and the fostering of the connoisseurs in the field of fine art prints, in 2009 IFPDA established the Foundation for the promotion of educational projects for young and new curators, collectors and specialists with an interest in the fine arts prints. Different Curatorial Internships were organized in various museums and galleries, and the financial support was provided for exhibitions, lectures, and educational materials within institutions that aim to sustain and strengthen the interest in this form of artistic expression.

ifpda, fine arts print
Left: Joe Tilson – Stones of Venice Anzolo Rafael, 2015 / Right: Barthélémy Toguo – Alive in a Box, 2016, New Editions.Images via ifpda.com

The Major Event

In 1991, the IFPDA established a major event for the fine art print lovers, collectors and artists. Forming The Print Fair as the Fair to visit if the printmaking is what tickles your wallets and feasts your eyes, the organizers of the event each year attempt and succeed in bringing to the public a range of works from young contemporary artist today to the works of most significant artists in art history. Alongside the exhibition, the side project is as important for the promotion of this artistic category and different lectures and speeches by artists, such as Kiki Smith, or different curators are organized. This event introduces the new and young public to the area of art that is constantly present in the changeable world of the globalized art market.

ifpda, fine arts print
The Print Fair, New York City, Installation view, 2015. Image via news.xinhuanet.comp

The Members

It is a privilege to receive a nomination and then acceptance into this celebrated organization. To get the nomination, the gallery or the institution, first of all, must be truly committed to the promotion of the printmaking, and this must be evident in the years and activities that the institution organized. The application is then looked over by all the different members of the Association. The decision is not made lightly since all the members of IFPDA must exhibit a high level of expertise, ethics and professional integrity.

Scroll down to read the interviews that Widewalls organized with the six new members of the IFPDA. What the five different art institutions have in common is the shared enthusiasm, knowledge and admiration to the fine arts print editions.

  • ifpda, fine arts print

Benveniste CP&P, Contemporary Publishing and Printing

The following interview, Widewalls organized with Benveniste CP&P, one of the six new members of the prestigious International Fine Print Dealers Association. Benveniste CP&P, with its activities and projects that support and promote the fine arts print editions, received with the entrance to this Association well deserved acknowledgment for their work and activities that promote one of the major and oldest artistic categories in the world.

ifpda, fine arts print
Dan Benveniste

Widewalls: The IFPDA is the world’s leading organization when it comes to fine prints and modern and contemporary art market. Could you tell us how the membership in IFPDA will affect your work?

Benveniste: It will indeed provide visibility and a frame of excellence. Being part of IFPDA means that the quality of our editions has been recognized and approved by leading experts worldwide.

Widewalls: Do you believe that your membership in the IFPDA gives you a privileged status in the art print market in comparison to those art dealers who are not members of the IFPDA?

B: Yes, our membership puts us in dialogue with the most competitive print dealers, therefore our editions can be seen by interesting curators and collectors around the world, which is very productive for our artists and ourselves as publishers / workshop.

Widewalls: Print market is very competitive. How do the competitiveness and dynamics of the market influence your work?

B: We are located in Madrid, Spain, where the market has decreased its competitiveness in the pass few years due to the economic crisis. The niche of work where we develop our projects is very specific due to the artists we collaborate with, so what provides dynamism is basically the visibility of the projects more than other facts.

Widewalls: There is a number of experts arguing how there are few signs of an emerging bubble in prints? What’s your opinion? Do you believe there is a possibility of bubble bursting on the print market and if so, what consequences it would have for the market itself?

B: I should repeat my previous answer to this question.

Widewalls: Could you tell us on which period, art movement or printmaking tradition are you focused on?

B: Contemporary artists who put focus in using art as a dialogue that questions our time, perception and society.

ifpda, fine arts print
Left: Angela de la Cruz – Mini Nothing (brown), Photo gravure / Right: Angela de la Cruz – Mini Nothing (yellow) Photo gravure. Prints produced at Benveniste studio

Widewalls: You are based in Madrid. Do you also organize exhibitions and could you tell us what can we expect from you in the coming months?

B: Yes, we have an exhibition space as well (our workshop occupies one floor and the exhibitions space is located in the same building right on top on it, and connected to it), but the market here is still not too strong, so our expectations are addressed to the international market, as this has been the case in the last years.

All images courtesy of Benveniste CP&P, Contemporary Publishing and Printing. Featured image in slider: Benveniste CP&P, Contemporary Publishing and Printing, Wokrshop.

  • ifpda, fine arts print

Cade Tompkins Project

For over 30 years now, Cade Tompkins has been an art dealer focusing on contemporary artworks. Promoting and exhibiting artist working in various mediums, including painting, sculpture, drawings, installations, and printmaking, Cade Tompkins opened in September 2009, and to date has featured 31 exhibitions. Focus on the diversity of different mediums and different approaches, provides this unique project with the ability to meet any clients demands. Concentrating on finding art for clients on all level of collecting, the fine arts editions are also a priority and a major interest that helped Cade Tompkins Project to receive the invitation and to become a second new member to the IFDPA. Please read bellow a response Widewalls received to the questions about How does it feel to become part of this major Association, What place does printmaking hold in the art market bubble and what lies ahead.

Cade Tompkins : It’s an honor and a privilege to be a newly-elected member of the IFPDA. I focus on contemporary art and artists using various mediums such as painting, drawings, sculpture, video, installation, sound – however several years ago, maybe 10 years, I began to notice a group of artists whose focus is predominately printmaking and I found that fascinating. It’s a bold move by an artist to embrace printmaking as their main medium. Printmaking is not “paintings little sister” any more and it’s considered the point of original ideas and thoughts in art making. Historically, prints have had a love-hate relationship with mass production, reproduction and multiplicity. It was not until the 1960s that artists began to sign and number prints with an “edition number”. I have found that contemporary prints by artists have a very low edition and may be limited to as few as 4, 7 or 10. Counter to the idea of mass marketing, the print is an opportunity for the collector to acquire something affordable and limited. Making a print – whether it is an intaglio (etching, aquatint), woodcut, lithograph or engraving, means you have a very exclusive skill set as an artist and particularly if the artist prints the work without the help of a “master printer”.

As to your question about a “bubble” in the print market. I have not experienced any sort of slow down; in fact, the opposite due to some incredible new projects my gallery artists have been working on such as a portfolio of 26 prints by Daniel Heyman which is comprised of 12 reduction woodcut portraits of 12 Native Americans from 4 Plains Indian Tribes coupled with their own oral history in letterpress. The portfolio is entitled “In Our Own Words: Native Impressions” and it’s a knock out. New work by the National Academician, Nancy Friese is in the works and will be one of the largest etchings she has ever created, a diptych which will be over 80 inches long and consistent with her style of working “en plein air” and the sublime subject of nature. Emerging talent, Allison Bianco, received a grant called the “Sea Grant” from the University of Rhode Island, and she too has made a monumental etching with screen print.

In general, print collectors are either eager to learn novice collectors or established scholarly connoisseurs and that combination of collector keeps things very exciting.

  • ifpda, fine arts print

Michael Woolworth

In 2012, the Atelier of Michael Woolworth was recognized by the government of France as part of France ‘ living heritage’. The Atelier specializes in the hands on approach and printing of lithography techniques, as well as linocuts, monotypes, etchings and multiples. Michael Woolworth, American-born printmaker, agreed to answer few of our questions, and to reflect upon the experience of an independent publisher working with contemporary artists, who has been living and working in Paris for more than three decades, who has recently received a membership for the IFDPA.

ifpda, fine arts print
Left: Portrait of Michael Woolworth / Right: Gunter Damisch at work. Images courtesy of Atelier Michael Woolworth

Widewalls: The IFPDA is the world’s leading organization when it comes to fine prints and modern and contemporary art market. Could you tell us how the membership in IFPDA will affect your work?

Michael Woolworth: I’m not a secondary dealer; I’m a publisher and printmaker working with contemporary artists. The membership mostly affects my work because of what it represents—a “stamp” of quality and endurance. I am American-born and have been living and working in Paris for more than 30 years. Starting in the 1980s and until recently, I presented my editions at international fairs including the FIAC, ARCO, Art Basel, Armory Show, but those types of events have become vast machines that are no longer viable for small publishers like myself. If my IFPDA membership can bring me back to my New York roots more often and introduce a sophisticated, informed public of dealers, collectors, institutions to the European artists with whom I collaborate, that would be wonderful.

Widewalls: Do you believe that your membership in the IFPDA gives you a privileged status in the art print market in comparison to those art dealers who are not members of the IFPDA?

MW: I definitely hope so! IFPDA is not only a powerful force in the print world; it also has a quite a lot of heft in the art world in general. For buyers, the fact you’re “IFPDA approved” is undoubtedly reassuring, a sign of integrity. In its early years, I viewed the fair primarily as a gathering for antiquarian or secondary modern dealers, although there were some top actors in contemporary editions as well, but didn’t feel it related to me specifically. Obviously, the contemporary aspect and my printer-publisher counterparts have blossomed greatly in the past ten years in the organization, which makes it distinctly more exciting.

ifpda, fine arts print
Left: Drummond in action / Right: Schwarzwald during the monotype process. Images courtesy of Atelier Michael Woolworth

Widewalls: Print market is very competitive. Do competitiveness and dynamics of the market influence your work?

MW: No, not really. I’ve never made my decisions based on how the market is doing. I started out in Paris just after the consumerism boom of the 50s, 60s and 70s, a period that is coined in France as the “Trente Glorieuses.” So I watched the print world take a downward spiral with no parachute. In the late 80s, things heated up in the art market, but print shops and publishers in Paris were disappearing like flies, and with them a whole culture of mass print production. I had a bit of experience with mechanical printmaking in the early to mid-80s, but when I opened my own atelier in 1985, I opted to work without any electricity. I still print exclusively with hand presses, making intimate, refined limited editions with artists, using traditional techniques as a medium to explore and subvert. It’s a labor of love, the opposite of market-friendly. But of late, that kind of approach is finding a public too.

Widewalls: Could you tell us on which period, art movement or printmaking tradition are you focused on?

MW: Again, I’m not a dealer but a publisher and a hands-on master printer of artists, primarily my generation or younger. I make prints with living artists who come to the atelier to collaborate: artists that take my breath away, it doesn’t matter whether they’re conceptual, representational, Pop, neo-geo or Color Field…. We combine stone lithography, woodcut, photogravure, etching, monotype and linocut with unorthodox processes, basically anything that can be imagined using pressure. The workshop is like a recording studio where ideas pulsate. We interpret an artist’s composition, we improvise, we invent. But in contrast to the music industry, instead of making millions of copies, we only generate 10, 15 or 30.

ifpda, fine arts print
Exhibition in printshop. Images courtesy of Atelier Michael Woolworth

Widewalls: What can we expect from you in the coming months?

In April, I’m opening a two-month exhibition in my atelier celebrating the thirtieth year of my workshop (Still Under Pressure, Thirty years later…), a selection of mostly recent prints by 25 artists . I’m also curating a new print fair on contemporary art editions, the second edition of MAD (Multiple Art Days), which I cofounded, and which opens in Paris the first weekend of October at the Maison Rouge. But mostly many, many hours of printing and editioning proofs, as well as training students who come to the workshop for apprenticeships. We’re very busy with a number of exciting projects, including artists’ books with Jim Dine, French painter Djamel Tatah, and Spain’s José Maria Sicilia.

Featured image in slider: Atelier Michael Woolworth – Djamel Tatah exhibit. All images courtesy of Atelier Michael Woolworth.

  • ifpda, fine arts print

Mike Karstens

Since 1988, Mike Karstens has been collaborating with international artists and helping them with the production of portfolios and editions for galleries, art associations and museums. At its headquarters in Münster, both Gallery and Workshop, Mike Karstens is a unique place that focuses on both traditional techniques, such as lithography, woodcut, silkscreen, and also innovative processes. Many of the results produced at this atelier, re-shape the thinking about technology and combination of different techniques that push the limits of conventional printmaking. Creating a unique space for production, Mike Karstens was the fifth organization Widewalls spoke to about the recent new membership in the IFPDA.

ifpda, fine arts print
Mike Karstens printing Gerhard Richter’s Skin 1.Image courtesy of Mike Karstens

Widewalls: The IFPDA is the world’s leading organization when it comes to fine prints and modern and contemporary art market. Could you tell us how the membership in IFPDA will affect your work?

Mike Karstens: The membership in a professional organization of only 160 global members is an great honor, which is rewarded by my artists and also by my collectors.

Widewalls: Do you believe that your membership in the IFPDA gives you a privileged status in the art print market in comparison to those art dealers who are not members of the IFPDA?

MK: I think it will help me to reach new customers and improve my position for applications at various art fairs or museum-exhibitions.

Widewalls: Print market is very competitive. Do competitiveness and dynamics of the market influence your work?

MK: I feel the pressure to publish constantly new prints in always-smaller edition-sizes. If I do 30, the collectors want 20, if I do 20, they want just 12. At least it will not be economically viable.

Widewalls: There is a number of experts arguing how there are few signs of an emerging bubble in prints? What’s your opinion? Do you believe there is a possibility of bubble bursting on the print market and if so, what consequences it would have for the market itself?

MK: I do not see a bubble.

ifpda, fine arts print
Projec Woodcut XL, Wolfgang Troschke. Image courtesy of Mike Karstens

Widewalls: Could you tell us on which period, art movement or printmaking tradition are you focused on?

MK: We work since 26 years in production editions and portfolios with international artists. Besides this, the atelier also develops projects like Gerhard Richter´s STRONTIUM for the DE Young Museum in San Francisco, and the big window for the COLOGNE CATHEDRAL. We offer a wide range of traditional techniques, digital printing might be just a tool, not a medium for us.

Widewalls: What can we expect from you in the coming months?

MK: I will show my very ambitious project WOODCUT XL at ArtCologne in April, 13 huge prints by 9 artists. Sigmar Polke had the idea for that project shortly before his death in 2010, now it is finished and open for other artists-so I invited some very interesting people to join us.

Featured image in slider: Gerhard Richter – STRONTIUM. Image courtesy of Mike Karstens.

  • ifpda, fine arts print

Stamperia d’Arte Berardinelli

The passionate beginning in 1971, enthusiasm and love for the creative process, till today follows the Stamperia d’Arte Berardinelli. The interest, an obvious choice from the start, for contemporary art, influenced the first results produced at this printing and print publishing firm. The first editions were following various interests and we can see different works that follow the styles of abstraction, constructivism, conceptualism, and Pop Art. The variety of styles also influenced the variety of technology used. Today, apart from helping artist create their own editions, Berardinelli is a print publishing firm and its own editions participated in various national and international art fairs. It is no surprise that, Berardinelli, was the sixth new member of IFDPA that took the time to speak to us.

Widewalls: The IFPDA is the world’s leading organization when it comes to fine prints and modern and contemporary art market. Could you tell us how the membership in IFPDA will affect your work? Do you believe that your membership in the IFPDA gives you a privileged status in the art print market in comparison to those art dealers who are not members of the IFPDA?

Stamperia d’Arte Berardinelli: IFPDA is a quality brand warranty and a source of pride for those who manage to become part of this group. Of course it will affects my business in terms of credibility with a public increasingly aware and knowledgeable.

Widewalls: Print market is very competitive. Do competitiveness and dynamics of the market influence your work?

B: Unfortunately, the market dynamics constantly put pressure on the choices and the timing of a work that would need instead calm and reflexivity. We fortunately are able to remain faithful to our line thanks to a solidly established presence.

Widewalls: There are a number of experts arguing how there are few signs of an emerging bubble in prints? What’s your opinion? Do you believe there is a possibility of bubble bursting in the print market and if so, what consequences it would have for the market itself?

B: Here in Italy the bubble has already burst because of the happy management and lack of seriousness of many improvised publishers. The amount of spilled product on the market has impacted heavily on prices; the same quality of graphics dictated, as we said before, from product needs at all costs. All this has affected the confidence of enthusiasts and the credibility in our category by new collectors. The policy of the auction houses and real-time online price did not help. Of course the situation is more complex because it also includes economic crisis and the disappearance of the middle class but I think just working seriously these points will have regain confidence.

Widewalls: Could you tell us on which period, art movement or printmaking tradition are you focused on?

B: We are in this market for over 40 years. The workshop has been printing for many artists of so many movements: from Italian Constructivists to Abstractionists, from Fluxus to Transavanguardia, from Pop to today. When they come here and feel turpentine scent, they feel at home and like children begin to play. Are the basis for a good result and a good relationship. With many of them we are linked to deep and sincere friendship.

Widewalls: What can we expect from you in the coming months?

B: We are now working on the book “The Canticle of the Creatures” of St. Francis of Assisi, dedicated to Pope Francis precisely: 60 pages illustrated by Joe Tilson: another thirty-year friendship with one of the most iconic British/ international artists of this century. Malborough and Alan Cristea will devote two major exhibitions this year, we also are preparing a catalog with all the prints produced together.

Featured image in slider: Stamperia d’Arte Berardinelli – Printer’s Family. Image courtesy of Stamperia d’Arte Berardinelli.