José Luis Giménez-Frontín
Poet, Member of AICA Catalunya
These words of presentation of the latest edition – the twentysecond! – of the Mini Print International of Cadaqués could be entitled: “The Splendorous Globalization of Printmaking: From Wood Engraving to Information Technology and From Translation to Creation”. It is undoubtedly an excessive title, out of proportion to the obligated brevity and limitation of this communication, but which invites reflection about certain, in my opinion, suggestive motifs.
Indeed, I believe that the fact should be stated that the opportune initiative of the Mini Print International of Cadaqués, and its success, are only conceivable in an interconnected cultural universe without artistic, extra-artistic, mental or technical barriers, a universe which is an updated compendium and continuation of a tradition that dates back to 12th century China and to 14th century Europe which at that time had no mental frontiers. From the original wood block, through the burin of the early Renaissance masters with Dürer at the head and the revolutionary handling of inks in the mature Rembrandt and in Goya to the launching of the lithographic process with its colored plates or the most recent digital techniques: this is the global universe in which the alchemists of paper and the minimal format work. These are the printmaking artists in a Post Modem era in which everything is included or accepted without restriction, and in which in the good art, as in authentic science, everything is poetically possible.
The title also alludes to an historic process relating to the “function” of the print. It began as illustration of mythological or neoplatonic keys, or of the doctrinal message of Christianity. Afterwards it was used as a seried “translation” of the oil paintings of great masters. From Gutenberg onward it developed a path parallel and complementary to the printed book, whose culminating point is perhaps the moralizing “editions” of Goya or Hogarth. Finally, with the historic vanguards, it freed itself (at least apparently) of all signifying commitment. Well then, an overview of the hundreds of works in this edition of the Mini Print requires an open reading in the strict terrain of significative functionality, with the recognition of a massive presence of the will for “pure” creation (still bound to informalism and the historic vanguard) beyond that of the significative forms more attached to local traditions and to the book.
To sum up, the whole is a splendorous and variegated demonstration of the vitality of artists on the five continents, a testimony to all sorts of enriching influences between past and future, North and South, East and West, inlayed here and there with works of exemplary technical mastery and esthetic maturity; in other words, works of authentic disquieting beauty.
Mercedes Barberà Rusiñol
Director of the Mini Print International of Cadaques
A characterization of the 22nd Mini Print International of Cadaqués was the great variety of techniques employed by the participating artists, from the most classical procedures to the latest ones derived from the new technologies. In this sense the Mini Print has a notable pedagogical interest as has been remarked by all those visitors (critics, artists, collectors and the general public) who are interested in the graphic arts.
The exhibition of the Mini Print in the Taller Galeria Fort of Cadaqués from July through the middle of September was attended by a very large public. Moreover, the participating artists who came to Cadaqués from their countries of origin, were able to enjoy the exhibition and at the same time became acquainted with the beautiful surroundings of the village and bay of Cadaqués.
The solo shows of the winning artists of the previous year aroused much interest. The fact of their presence at the opening was an additional incentive for exchanging impressions about the art and customs of their countries.
This year Stanislaw Swieca of Poland visited us and explained the personal and very interesting technique with which he creates his prints. We were also visited by Mieko Urushido of Japan, Ann-Kerstina Nielsen of Denmark and Liisa Malkamo of Finland. With all of them we have established ties of friendship and promises to retum one day to Cadaqués. Alejandra Claudia Bagolini of Argentina and Daniel Clochey of France were unable to come but their works were not less seen and admired.
From May through the middle of August the 22nd Mini Print was exhibited at the Wingfield Arts Festival in England. Each year it is anticipated with great expectation and visited by a great number of art lovers, thus consolidating its presence in this magnificent English Cultural Center. The media gives a wide coverage to all the interesting activities of the Festival.
The arrival of the Mini Print of Cadaqués is also awaited as one more Christmas tradition in France at the “L’Etangd’Art” Gallery in Bages during December and half of January. Sophie Cassard, the director of this beautiful gallery, receives the show with enthusiasm and professionalism, transforming its presence into a great success with the public and the communication media.
We acknowledge our gratitude to the Department of Fine Arts of the Catalan Government and to the Ministry of Education, Culture and Sports of the Spanish Government for their economic aid. Without their assistance the continuity of this event would be impossible.
As always we thank the artists for participating, both the faithful veterans and those who are showing for the first time. Without them the Mini Print would not be possible and we continue to believe that it is extremely interesting to be able to show every year all that is being done in printmaking throughout the world. With this hope we are now organizing the twenty-third edition.