ARCHIVE / 1986 / Texts



The “Caixa de Pensions” Foundation takes pleasure in presenting the “VI International Mini-Print Exhibition – Cadaqués 1986», which offers to the visitor a wide spectrum of the various engraving techniques currently being used by artists worldwide. With Lleida as the starting point, the exhibition will travel to other parts of Catalonia.

The show has come about as a result of the contest held last summer at Cadaqués, which since 1981 is being organized under the auspices of the Galeria Fort Workshop. An initiative that has gradually been gathering momentum: suffice it to say that from the one hundred exhibits presented the first time, the exhibition offers now over a thousand. On its fourth year of existence, the “Caixa de Pensions” Foundation decided to undertake the organization of the exhibition on an itinerant basis in an endeavour to draw the public’s attention to the latest techniques and innovations achieved in this particular artistic front.

From among the six-hundred and thirty participants, an international jury awarded prizes to twelve artists from Canada, Spain, England, United States of America, France, Italy, Japan, Norway, New Zealand and Turkey. In addition to the contributing works and to those which received awards, the exhibition displays mini-prints of winners from previous years. The whole collection, given the variety and internationality of the participants, represents an unparalleled example of current trends and its most outstanding artists.

We do hope that this international event will allow the general public to become more familiar with the mini-print world: a piece of paper which in the hands of the engraver is transformed into the purest expression of artistic feeling incorporating all the force and appeal of contemporary creation.

Pascual Fort
Taller Galeria Fort

Looking at this prolific exhibition of small-scale prints raises several interesting questions, for instance: why the exhibition itself, who are the artists taking part, what brought them to practice this specialization within the wider field of art, or whether they practice other additional forms of art, whether they are professional artists who are trying their hand at a print for the first time because they are attracted by the exhibition, or whether they specialize in printing techniques, whether they have their own press with a fully-equipped workshop or whether they attend existing schools or professional workshops, whether the government of the countries represented foster the art through schools or direct aid to the artists, whether the works submitted are in general specially done for the Cadaqués Mini Print, whether the works were originally conceived in small format or whether they are a reduction of a work first carried out on a larger scale, whether they feel influenced by the artistic tradition already existing in their country, what technique the majority prefers or practices, if there is any difference between countries as to the techniques employed, and whether the artists are mainly located in the great centres af population or whether they live and work outside such centres.

We’ve tried to clear up some of these questions by asking the 630 artists participating in the Mini Print International of Cadaqués 1986, and the results of our enquiry are as follows: 37% of the artists live in their country’s capital and 63% live in other towns and cities. There are cases like Sweden where, of the 28 artists taking part, only one lives in the capital and 27 outside. The country with the most even balance turns out to be Mexico, where 12 out of 25 artists live in the capital, with the other 13 outside.

The ratio breaks down in the case of Spain, where the difference is disproportionate: 12% of the participating artists were from Madrid, the capital, but there is Barcelona with 40% of all the artists taking part from Spain. The United States provides a similar case: no artist taking part came from the capital Washington, though 75 entries were accepted from that country. All this leads us to think that the majority of artists who devote themselves to this branch of art have had traditional training and their knowledge is acquired through the traditional environment, more strongly marked in the smaller cities, although at present there is an effort to revive these techniques in the large capitals through schools, foundations and universities, with grants to students and artists.

It can be clearly seen that the prints mainly come from artists who are professionals in the graphic arts. The enquiry shows that 70% are engaged in traditional engraving, with etching the technique most often used (70%), 4% lithography, 14% woodcuts, 9% silk screen and 3% dry-point engraving.

We can also state that the works accepted, exhibited and reproduced in this catalogue have been carried out expressly for this contest, and some would not even exist if it were not for the annual invitation sent out by the Taller Galeria Fort. This is good news for the organization, the artists taking part in the sixth Mini Print International of Cadaqués, and for the graphic arts in general.

Mercedes Barberà

Taller Galeria Fort

The evolution shown by the Mini-Print International Exhibition – Cadaqués after six years of uninterrupted existence, appears to be solid and steadlast.

Every year, in August, art lovers in general and, in particular, people interested in original graphic works signed by the artist, meet at the Galeria Fort Workshop at Cadaqués with the feeling that they will not be let down. Every year, these people rush to renew the excitement aroused by the new workpieces of the six-hundred odd artists who fill the gallery walls with new ideas, shapes and colours.

The certainty that both the world artists as well as their fans (as they may be rightly called) will not miss the occasion, provides the basis for a relaxed communication atmosphere – the inherent element of artistic creation. The fact that the venue is Cadaqués and the time of the year August, inevitably associated with holidays, the sea, the sun and the carefree life which allows expansion of thought and spirit, provides the right, propitious elements for people to be more open to artistic expression.

But there are many people, most of the participants included, who in spite of their interest in the exhibition are unable to visit it. That is why the «Caixa de Pensions» Foundation, with a clear awareness of its importance, decided three years ago to make it an itinerant exhibition so that everybody in the Catalan country would have an opportunity to see it. That is why, too, the “Caixa” has prepared this beautilul catalogue which is being sent to each of the contributing artists as well as to museums, universities, cultural institutions, specialized magazines, art galleries, etc. in order to ensure that the exhibition and the high quality of its exhibits is widely known.

The itinerant exhibitions are enthusiastically received by the cities chosen to shelter them and represent a real event. Such is the appeal which they draw, with their at one time quiet and strong presence, that every one who contributes to make them possible is already looking forward to the forthcoming Mini-Print International, Cadaqués 1987 as an occasion to bring themselves up to date on styles, techniques and ideas.

The director of the Fine Arts Department of the Northeastern University of Boston was so impressed with the exhibition whilst visiting Cadaqués, that she agreed to hold a similar one in November/December 1986 at the art gallery in her University showing the works of the artists represented in this catalogue. With this exercise it is now easy to visualize new horizons for the Mini-Print International, Cadaqués, which will start to travel in 1987 – not only inside our country but also to a number of museums, galleries and universities worldwide.