Master Prints- a wonderful area of collecting

by leslierankowfinearts

ALEXANDRA SCHWARTZ, THE DIRECTOR OF PACE MASTER PRINTS, IS EXTREMELY KNOWLEDGEABLE ABOUT THE HISTORY OF PRINTS, PRINTMAKING TECHNIQUES AND THE MARKET FOR THESE WORKS. IT IS AN ABSOLUTE PLEASURE TO HAVE SASHA SHARE THIS VALUABLE INFORMATION WITH US.  WHEN I FIRST STARTED AS A DEALER, I DIRECTED QUITE A FEW NEW CLIENTS TOWARDS PRINT COLLECTING, PREDOMINANTLY CONTEMPORARY PRINTS AT THAT POINT.   I FELT IT WAS BETTER FOR THEM TO HAVE THE OPPORTUNITY TO LOOK AT WORKS OF QUALITY THAT FELL WITHIN A REASONABLE BUDGET BY EXCELLENT, RESPECTED CONTEMPORARY ARTISTS AND TO LEARN DAILY FROM THAT EXPERIENCE RATHER THAN FROM LIVING WITH INFERIOR PAINTINGS IN THE SAME PRICE RANGE BY LESS HIGHLY REGARDED ARTISTS.

OF LATE, I HAVE HAD THE PLEASURE OF WORKING WITH SASHA AGAIN ON BEHALF OF  NEW CLIENTS WITH A TERRIFIC NEW YORK  PIED-A-TERRE TO  ESTABLISH A FIRST-TIER COLLECTION OF MASTER PRINTS – PICASSO, MATISSE, DUBUFFET- FOR EXAMPLE.  THESE ARE STELLAR WORKS AND THERE IS AN ACTIVE AND  STRONG SECONDARY MARKET IN BOTH THE GALLERY AND AUCTION SECTORS THAT WILL PROVIDE US WITH CONTINUED RESOURCES .

PACE MASTER PRINTS, LOCATED AT 32 EAST 57th STREET, IN NEW YORK, IS LEGENDARY FOR ITS EXPERTISE IN THIS AREA AND INVENTORY AND IS CELEBRATING ITS 41st YEAR.

SASHA, THANK YOU FOR SPEAKING WITH US. WHAT IS THE DEFINITION OF A MASTER PRINT? WHAT PERIOD OF PRINTMAKING DOES THAT INCLUDE?

To be perfectly honest, “master prints” was simply  a term we invented in 1980 to distinguish my newly established department at Pace from the old master print and contemporary print departments.  The department deals in museum – quality prints dating from approximately 1860 through 1990.

WHAT IS YOUR PROFESSIONAL HISTORY? AT WHAT POINT DID YOU BEGIN WORKING WITH ARNE GLIMCHER AND PACE GALLERY AND AT WHAT STAGE WAS THE PRINT DEPARTMENT WHEN YOU FIRST JOINED THE GALLERY?

I began my career as an assistant curator in the Department of Prints and Illustrated Books at The Museum of Modern Art.   After 11 years at the Museum, Pace hired me to start a department of modern prints which was both exciting and challenging.  And, after more than 30 years, it still is! One of my responsibilities at MoMA was to oversee the print study room which gave me an extraordinary opportunity to view the museum’s collection of more than 40,000 prints.I was also lucky enough to be at the museum during the late 1960s and 1970s which was the beginning of one of the most exciting periods in the history of printmaking.  Important young American and British artists such as Johns, Hockney, Lichtenstein, Rauschenberg, and Warhol began making wonderful prints, many of them large-scale, and that enthusiasm among many contemporary artists has never  ceased.

IN OUR NEXT BLOG, SASHA WILL DEFINE THE RICH VARIETY OF PRINTMAKING TECHNIQUES THAT ARTISTS HAVE ADOPTED FOR SEVERAL GENERATIONS AND CLARIFY THE CRITERIA THAT ESTABLISHES A FINE ART PRINT FROM OTHER FORMS OF MULTIPLES.  WE WOULD WELCOME ANY AND ALL QUESTIONS. SASHA HAS  BOTH A LOVE OF THIS AREA OF ART COLLECTING AND GREAT KNOWLEDGE AND, HAPPILY, IS WILLING TO SHARE IT WITH US.

UNTIL THEN….