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