ARCHIVE / 1996 / Texts

Pilar Vélez Vicente
Vicepresident of the Catalan Association of Art Critics

The Mini Print International or the Difussion of Prints, from Catalonia

The Mini Print International is, doubtlessly, the most popular iniciative abroad which has been driven forwards from Catalonia for the last decades in favour of printing arts.

It is not going too far when doing such an affirmation, for it is already sixteen years –that is easy to say– since Pascual Fort started a personal adventure with the main objective of contributing to a greater difussion of printing arts. He could be called “Apostle of prints”. Since then, about 9000 artists from all over the world have taken part in the contest, and their prints have been and are shown in the furthest resorts apart, of course, from being exhibited every summer, from July to September in the “Taller Galeria Fort” in Cadaqués.

With the same aim, Pascual Fort drove the creation of ADOGI (Printing Arts International Association) which nowadays joins together a great number of artists. After his death, it is his wife, Mercedes Barberà, and one of their sons, Josep Fort who continue this task with the same resolution and professionality.

The main value of the Mini Print lies on the fact that a great number of artists from all over take part and meet the same objective: It is not a matter of carrying out an exhibition of some personal work, but this of contributing to an ecumenical action ­–to go on religious similes– in favour of the printing arts. This is the reason why it is difficult to comment on each of the works participating, and, considering the space we are given here, it would be useless trying.

A symbiosis of cultures stays on the colourful mosaic which usually gives form to the exhibition that welcomes us in good disposition from the walls of the gallery. A great participation of European artists, many from the eastern countries, which enjoy a long tradition in the making of xilography, but from America as well, either northern or southern, with a usual and outstanding representation and also the artists from Japan, some African countries and Australia. An exchanging of traditions, shapes and plastic criteria are well present in the heterogeneous range of the Mini Print.

It is a diverse reality, either from a technical point of view –there can be seen all of the etching and printing techniques in a wide sense: xilography, linoprint, etching, burin, aquatint, embossing, lithography, computerprinting, etc.– or from a thematic or formal point of view –from the strictest figurative to abstraction. And this diverse reality is a good proof to show that the contemporary art is richer than what some want us to believe. And, of course, it is a magnificient sample of the possibilities printing arts may bring to plastic creation.

So, the Mini Print plays the main role in the world of printing arts, which are not rooted –though it may seem rare and impossible– in the contemporary artistic scope. A good proof of this is the lack of a magazine specialized in this matter in Catalonia. Therefore, activities such as the Mini Print not only have to be possitively valued, but also the responsible ones need to be encouraged to carry on their task.

If, as I said at the beginning, the Mini Print is the only action carried out from Catalonia in favour of printing arts which enjoys an International echo, its continuity has to be possible. Let’s hope so.

Mercedes Barberà Rusiñol
Director of the Mini Print International of Cadaques

As has been the custom during the last five years, the Mini Print International of Cadaqués began its itinerary at the “Wingfield Festival of Arts” in England during the months of May, June and July. The interest that it provokes is so great that its director, Ian Chance, has organized a presentation of the exhibition in Prades, France, during the Pau Casals Festival and it seems as if the Mini Print’s presence at the Festival will be continuous.

I am very pleased to note that the Mini Print has a great attraction for all those who exhibit it in their galleries, and not only do they wish to continue showing it each year, but they do not hesitate to promote new itineraries to make it known to the greatest possible number of spectators. All my gratitude for the great effort and interest shown.

The 16th annual exhibition of the Mini Print International in Cadaqués during the months of July, August and September attracted a great number of visitors. Many participating artists are motivated to come from their countries to see the show. For some this has become a custom and it gives us great satisfaction to count on their presence and to be able to exchange ideas and impressions with them. The solo shows of the previous year’s winners are even more anxiously awaited by collectors and experts in graphic arts from all over the world because of the high level of quality.

This summer Anne Dykmans visited us in a lightning trip which was just long enough for her to deliver her beautiful work and to act as a juror. Also, from Malaga, the American artist Oliver, with his charm and sense of humor, was with us for a few days. For Nobuko Kihira it was easier since she has been living in Cadaqués for a number of years and her visits to the gallery were constant. We are sorry not to have been able to count on the presence of Alamgir, Toshio Yoshizumi and Park Jeong-Ho. The latter two, in spite of having said they would come, had to cancel their trips at the last minute. In order to balance the jury’s veredict with another member we invited Xavier Barral, professor of Art History at the Sorbonne of Paris, who kindly agreed to exercise the difficult task of choosing the six artists who will represent the 16th Mini Print International with solo shows next year.

In September the exhibition travelled to Canet de Mar where it is always well received and visited by many people from Barcelona because of its proximity and good communications. Then, during November and December, in the village of Bages, near Narbonne, it received many visitors. Sophie Cassard, director of the gallery “L’Étangd’Art”, spreads her enthusiasm for the Mini Print among her numerous friends and clients. Finally, the show in Lleida, Spain, during December, was a great occasion thanks to the warm reception of the people and the interest shown by Rosa Siré, professor of printmaking at the “Escola Municipal de Belles Arts”.

It only remains to thank the Spanish Ministery of Education and Culture for the aid they give us every year and in which the Mini Print counts on one of its best supporters, Fernando Perera, Director of the “Centro Nacional de Exposiciones”. Without the Ministery’s aid, it is possible that the Mini Print International of Cadaqués could not continue.

Its existence is due primarily to the artist’s participation, many of whom display their newest technical experiments in the art of printmaking, which do not go unnoticed by the visitors who are interested in the evolution of the graphic arts in the future.

Our aim is to assure that once more, in 1997, the Mini Print International of Cadaqués is with us.