The engraving (from the French engraving) is an artistic discipline in which a matrix is used, which can be made of copper, zinc, wood, stone or synthetic materials such as neolite, on which it is drawn with sharp instruments, or its surface is eroded through the use of chemicals. The image made on this matrix is then inked, it is transferred thanks to the use of a press to another surface, which can be made of paper or cloth, which, in turn, allows obtaining several reproductions of what can be considered " prints ”and that enjoy absolute originality, even if they are works produced in series.
Artists such as Rembrandt van Rijn, Albrecht Dürer, Francisco de Goya, Gustave Doré, Hans Baldung, Käthe Kollwitz and currently Kiki Smith, are considered great exponents of this pictorial technique and have allowed to expand the universe of the representation of reality thanks to mechanical reproduction, an issue criticized by Walter Benjamin in "the work of art in the age of technical reproducibility", but when referring to engraving, unlike photography, its uniqueness stands out because it does not lack that "here and now ”essential of the work of art.
The artists of the engraving workshop "La Estampa" in this exhibition, show different aspects of this technical modality of art such as drypoint, strong water, soft wax, chine-collé and the monotype, thus ensuring the durability over time of a discipline of which there are records from the 16th century.
José E. Palacio V.
It is well known that engraving occupies a very lofty place in the graphic scene. That is why this exhibition is so important, composed by a group from the Engraving Workshop of the artist Ángela María Restrepo, a student, in turn, of another great teacher, Aníbal Gil, who have been in charge of keeping alive the most demanding discipline of the Plastic arts.
The teacher Restrepo has been a champion of these disciplines, where the printing on a paper of any image, becomes an exquisite work of art, as long as it is done with all the artistic respect.
And this aspect is what guarantees the teacher's group of students and they are themselves, the majority, artists already located in the cultural environment of Medellín due to their trajectory.
It is a real hit for the CES University and for the nascent and promising Museum of Art to have brought together a group of quality creators. It will undoubtedly be a lesson in good art for all visitors.
Libe de Zulategui
Artist and art critic
To etch, a sheet of metal is coated with a wax-based, acid-resistant protective substance. The artist draws the image on the sheet with a very sharp metal tip that eliminates the layer of wax through which it passes, leaving a linear path without protection on the sheet. Next, the sheet is immersed in a pewter basin with nitric acid, which covers the surface. The action of the acid corrodes the drawn metal area, which was exposed. The time of immersion of the sheet in the acid, meticulously measured, determines the depth of the line in the engraving and the amount of ink that will be loaded to print on the paper, previously moistened. Hence the requirement of an experienced master so that the engraving remains, in each fragment, well calibrated in each feature or line and, therefore, the result must be a masterpiece.
Aquatint engravings emerged in the 18th century, due to the efforts of artists to recreate in engravings the effect of wash and watercolor. The process described above is carried out, but in some large areas resin is sprayed and it is heated so that it adheres. The sheet is then dipped in a mild acid which dissolves the surface in the covered areas and a tiny graininess makes the large area when printed as a soft, velvety area. It is very difficult and as an example it can be said that, among the great artists of history, Goya was the master of aquatint.
Similar to etching, it is quite different at the beginning of the work. Here the artist draws with a pencil-like burin, pressing so that the tip tears the surface and the metal torn like beards remains on both sides of the line. These beards retain more ink and give the drypoint line a richly textured, yet velvety appearance, although the line is clearly visible. At first glance it gives the idea of a nib. The final process is similar to those described.
It is the method that does not use burins or incisions. It is based on the incompatibility of fat and water. The artist works with a greasy pencil, special for lithography and draws on a special limestone slab, heavy, expensive and difficult to obtain. Today's artist uses slabs with a porous surface, when he cannot find the right one, as well as sheets of zinc or aluminum. Limestone is sensitive to water, especially in areas that have not been treated.
A mixture of nitric acid and gum arabic is then applied to the entire surface of the slab to increase its ability to retain moisture when the stone is soaked. The water is repelled by the grease of the drawing, but it is absorbed by the undrawn surface. Subsequently, a roller impregnated with greasy ink is passed over the stone, which will remain adhered to the greased areas already drawn and will be repelled by the wet areas. The stone, with a paper on top, is placed in the press and the image is transferred to the paper by pressure.
There are more processes for engraving, perhaps very personal, depending on the author who wishes to alter or undergo changes in the known processes. It is evident that a master well versed in the different techniques can achieve formidable effects and create his own imprint. The truth is that when faced with an excellent engraving, there is no doubt that you are before a real master. This age-old process easily reveals the artist's lack of knowledge. For this reason, whoever makes a good engraving is an excellent artist. Engraving is equivalent to chamber music, which demands great knowledge from those who practice it.
Bibliography: Personal notes of Libe de Zulategi.
Studies for an imaginary anatomy
Drypoint, 2010 Description: Triptych of dead birds
Drypoint, 2019 Description: Image that combines the body of a human and the head of a bird, on an ethereal surface.
And lends them coat
38 x 28 cm Etching and drypoint, 2016 Description: A coat hanging on a hook from which children's hands emerge
28x19 cm Etching and chine collé, 2018 Description: A cat that observes a nest with eggs, waiting for a bird. The background is a fence on which a vine rests.
Maps (un) folded
Ana Isabel Diez
45x40x10 cm Mixed media, 2018 Description: Corrugated maps in an acrylic urn.
Angela Maria Restrepo
38 x 28.5 cm Drypoint, 2019 Description: Feline face on the grassland, on the attack.
Angela Maria Restrepo
25 x 25 cm Etching on canvas, 2010 Description: “Untitled”. Image of a ship on the sea and in the foreground a triptych of a resting dog.
Sister and I
28 x 19 cm Drypoint, 2019 Description: Back of half hand with long fingers.
Mom and me
28 x 19 cm Drypoint, 2019 Description: Senile middle hand back
The fish cycle
30.5 x 25 cm Drypoint, 2020 Description: It shows between fantasy and reality the life cycle of the fish
22.8 x 30.5 cm Etching, 2018 Description: Characters wandering through life in a timeless space
30.5 x 22.8 cm Etching, 2019 Description: Path between thin branches of a forest
25 x 17 cm Etching, 2019 - 2020 Description: The chiaroscuro of a river between the trees
From the series "Permeables"
33 x 33 cm Monotype, 2018 Description: Mix of linear and organic figures on a blue glaze.
33 x 33 cm Monotype, 2019 Description: Monotypes that show transparencies and textures in deep blue with great technical and contemporary artistic richness.
Scapular (Evidential Evidence Series)
25 x 17.5 cm Drypoint, 2018 Description: The typical scapular of the Virgen del Carmen on a black background
Shoe (Evidence Series)
25 x 17.5 cm Dry toe, 2018 Description: A worn and worn classic cloth sneaker on a black background
The little house
28 x 21.5 cm Linoleum taco lost, 2019 Description: Small house on stilts in the middle of the rain and the flood.
35 x 25 cm Linoleum taco lost, 2019 Description: Children's wooden game (house in the air) from which children usually slide.
20 x 20 cm Illuminated etching on canvas, 2012 Description: The image of a dog at rest printed on a very used piece of cloth.
20 x 20 cm Illuminated etching on canvas, 2012 Description: Sleeping dog captured on the pocket of a garment.
Marta Lucia de Bedout
38.5 x 21.5 cm Monotype, 2010 Description: Triptych of leaves as a herbarium.
Marta Lucia de Bedout
38 x 28 cm Drypoint, 2019 Description: Insect that walks on a leaf
38 x 28 Etching, aquatint, 2018 Description: Man from behind with a plaid shirt raised on one of the flanks of his back.
38 x 28 Drypoint, 2018 Description: Crab on an indeterminate surface
Little pillars in the clouds
25 x 19.5 cm Dry point and chine collé, 2018 Description: Female child figures with a background of clouds
25 x 19.5 cm Drypoint and watercolor, 2018 Description: Like the finest abstract woven rug.
24 x 21.5 cm Etching and soft wax, 2017 Description: Old Bicycle resting on a mural painted with flowers
24 x 21.5 cm Etching and soft wax, 2017 - 2 Description: Cage woven on a sieve made with very organic materials.
19 x 14.5 cm Etching and chine collé, 2018 Description: Heart of Jesus between blues and fuchsias.
19 x 14.5 cm Etching and chine collé, 2019 Description: Antique gentleman with cane and wide-brimmed hat
Maps (un) folded 2
Ana Isabel Díez
51x30x15 cm Mixed media, 2018 Description:. Map with accordion-like presses