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March 21st, 2009

Color Photogravure at Crown Point Press




I see the term ‘color photogravure’ here and there but never really know what it means.  Is it a photogravure printed with a vibrant conté color ink? Or is it a plate inked simultaneously with multiple colors, like Aperture’s version of Steichen’s Moonrise, Mamaroneck? Or maybe it means plates run through the press multiple times each time using a separate color ink to achieve some type of Warhol screen-print effect?

Well Crown Point Press has teamed up with Susan Middleton (celebrated photographer of endangered species) to set the record straight.  Together they have produced a series of true full-color photogravures.

The technique incorporated produces four-color positive separations from a color negative and etches each onto four individual copper plates. The plates are then inked with the appropriate color and printed in perfect registration resulting in a full-range color photogravure.

And while I have not seen one in person, I can’t help to believe that they would be anything less than beautiful.  I hope to see one soon. If you are anywhere near the Crown Point Gallery in San Francisco, then it would be worth a visit to see for yourself.

The Crown Point Press gallery is open Tuesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. A brochure is available.

Learning the Language of the Realm
Featuring photogravures by Susan Middleton
February 27-April 7, 2009

Video of Susan Middleton talking about the project

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