ARCHIVE / 1985 / Texts



The «V Mini Print International» exhibition which the Caixa de Pensions Foundation is pleased to present offers the visitor a wide panorama ot the various techniques of print-making which artists all over the world are using today.

The exhibition is a repeat of the contest held last summer in Cadaqués, which has been put on each year by the Taller-Galeria Fort since 1981.

This year the number of participants has reached the number of six hundred and twenty-eight artists from forty-nine countries; an international jury has distinguished twelve works by artists trom Austria, Japan, Israel, Czechoslovakia, Korea, Portugal and Spain.

In addition to the works entered and those receiving awards, the exhibition brings together the miniprints of artists that were relevant in previous shows. Given the diversity and international character of the participants, the totality constitutes a unique demonstration ot the present state of the art and its most outstanding exponents.

We hope this international gathering will enable the general public to approach the small and magical world offered by the mini-print: a sheet of paper which is transformed under the engraver’s hands into a genuine demonstration of his artistic sensitivy, whose powerful attraction invites us to enter into the creativity of our time.

Joan-Josep Tharrats
Artist and publisher, member of the “Dau al Set” group.

To speak of Cadaques is to evoke the most significant epochs of Modern Art. The name of this privileged town in the Emporda is almost always found somewhere in the histories and lives of the great painters. The list of well-known names is almost inexhaustible: Picasso, Derain, Van Dongen, Eugeni d’Ors, Pichot, Rusiñol, Casas, Meifrén, Utrillo, Maillol, Dalí, Max Ernst, Duchamp, Magritte, Hans Arp, Buñuel, García Lorca, Mary Callery, John Cage, Max Bill, Santomaso, Hockney, Man Ray, Richard Hamilton, Joan Ponç… In inspired moments of their work, all have passed through Cadaques. It could even be claimed that if at any given moment all traces of 20th century art were to disappear from the earth, and all that remained was what has been produced in the neighbourhood of the Cap de Creus, the history of plastic creativity in our time could be very largely reconstructed from this alone, and even include the «isms», fringe movements and splinter groups.

In this broad shelter of restless fantasies, without doubt pricked and stimulated by the play of natural forces to reach their greatest visual splendour, Pasqual Fort has inserted his own creation, the Mini-Print International, which now numbers five years of life. In this space of time it has achieved a massive participation which no other contest could ever hope to realize. More than four thousand works were submitted, a figure that demonstrates the welcome given to artists’ work from all over the world.

The print, in the size and dimensions suggested by Pasqual Fort, can be easily sent by post from the furthest corners of the earth. Flying through space, it has a seductive power and presence that other artistic disciplines cannot equal. Carried out or controlled by the sensitivity of the artist himself, the printing –even in a limited edition– has the gift of ubiquity. From Korea, India, New Zealand, Czechoslovakia, Poland, Sweden, Israel, Canada, the United States, Mexico, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Guatemala, Ecuador, etc., every year at Cadaques more than 50 countries show the results of their exploration into the world of the print. The field of latent images is enormous. Any direction can be taken when looking out over the small desert of a blank piece of paper: the burin’s firm, incisive line, the shading of the etching, the serigraph’s velvety tones, the calculated precision of lithography, the descriptive meandering of the linocut, the strong imprints of the woodcut which, with renewed interest in expressionism, brings intriguing contributions from creators in Scandinavia, Germany and Japan. Not to mention the perspectives offered by treatment of the surface –embossing, perforating, pressing, tearing, scratching or collage.

A feel for the material is basic. «The material dominates everything», said Miró. «I’m against all intellectual research, it is preconceived and dead». The print is an object that can produce a sensation of tactile pleasure, more like bas-relief or sculpture than painting. Sometimes what is most admired is not necessarily what the print­maker had in mind, but what, by some unseen process, he intuited: the magic of empty spaces, a small piece of serenity.

This whole world of little marvels is offered to us by the «Mini-Print International» exhibition. A compedious pocket-size gallery, it takes up little room but has all the power and attraction of many spectacular samples of what is happening in art today. It reaches out to every corner; no place in the world is inaccessible. Pasqual Fort, with his own brand of patience and good nature, makes himself understood in every ethnic culture and has been able to converse in that most universal of languages: the expression of the image in the smallest space.

Pascual Fort
Taller Galeria Fort

This Fifth Mini Print International of Cadaqués marks the culmination of a period of consolidation and is now firmly established.

We can be proud of having gone beyond this initial five-year period, during which we can claim some positive successes:

  • Five years of Mini Print International of Cadaqués, plus the 1986 edition.
  • A steady increase in the number of artists participating. From 170 entries accepted in 1981 the number rose to 628 in 1985.
  • The number of countries represented has increased in proportion to the number of participants.
  • The high standards of work displayed, maintained by the level of the work submitted. Noteworthy is the increase of works in traditional techniques like wood-cut, the inclusion of new processes such as Copy-Art, and in general a high proportion of works in colour.
  • Countless visitors, many of whom are regulars, have been attracted to the exhibition in Cadaqués. In addition, the show has gone on tour, in travelling exhibitions organized by the Caixa de Pensions Foundation, with advance publicity in the mass media and a complete ollicial catalogue. In 1984/85 the exhibition was shown in Cadaqués, Barcelona, Esparraguera, Girona, Tàrrega and València.
  • Artists and critis have come to see the show from as far afield as Canada, Japan, the United States and Australia, as well as European visitors from France, Sweden, Germany, Switzerland and Italy. This effort has resulted in a high degree of communication in both artistic and human terms, an enriching and rewarding mutual experience that has encouraged the resurgence of the art of the print throughout the world.

We could say much more. But perhaps this is enough to justity the claim that the print of small format has achieved a place in artistic activities on the international level. Mini Print International must be taken into account when it comes to writing the history of art of our time.

It only remains to thank the participating artists for their colaboration, and the Caixa de Pensions Foundation for organizing the travelling exhibition and editing the current catalogue.