European Master Prints and the future direction of print collecting

by leslierankowfinearts

SASHA SCHWARTZ, DIRECTOR OF PACE MASTER PRINTS, HAS EXPLORED THE DIVERSE TECHNIQUES THAT FASCINATE ARTISTS WORKING IN THIS MEDIUM AND PROVIDED A LEXICON  FOR EMERGING AND ESTABLISHED COLLECTORS TO EXPLORE THIS RICH AREA OF ART –  RICH IN MEDIUMS, TECHNIQUES, SUBJECTS, IMAGES AND STEEPED IN THE  REMARKABLE HISTORY OF THE GREAT ARTISTS THAT HAVE CONTRIBUTED TO THIS AREA OF COLLECTING. NOW SASHA WILL INFORM US OF HER OWN PRINT COLLECTING INTERESTS AND HER EXPERIENCED SENSE OF THE DIRECTION THAT PRINT COLLECTING  WILL TAKE IN THE FUTURE.

SASHA, YOU ARE FOCUSING YOUR INTEREST IN BUILDING COLLECTIONS OF EUROPEAN MASTER PRINTS? WHAT LED YOU TO THAT AREA OF CONCENTRATION? WHAT ARTISTS ARE INCLUDED?

I love prints from all eras, and, naturally, enjoy collecting them myself.   I think it’s crucial to collect works that you really like as you’re the one that’s going to live with them.  Of course one’s budget is always a limiting factor but  fortunately  there are  many prints available on the market in all price ranges.  I  strongly recommend buying from a reputable established dealer who  will have quality works for sale and will  also be able to answer the many questions about prints.  Unfortunately, there are many myths about prints. For example, that the lower the number in the edition the more valuable the print (not true!!!).  Or that an artist’s proof is more valuable than a numbered impression from the edition (also not true).  Education is a big part of the buying process;   dealing with a knowledgeable person helps in making the best long-term investments.

WHAT ARE THE MOST SOUGHT AFTER PRINTS? IS IT BASED ON MEDIUM, SUBJECT MATTER, ARTIST OR A COMBINATION THEREOF?

Tastes change greatly over the years.  For the first ten or fifteen years I was a dealer, the most desirable  prints were color lithographs by 19th century French artists including Bonnard, Toulouse-Lautrec , Renoir and Vuillard..  Not so any more.  Collectors today want more modern looking prints from the 20th century.  In the past few years color linocuts by Picasso and the late period works by both Matisse and Miro have become particularly sought after.

HOW DO YOU VIEW THE SUSTAINABILITY OF THE PRINT MARKET? APART FROM THE MORE GENERALIZED ECONOMIC EBB AND FLOW, WHAT OTHER CONTINGENCIES ARE REFLECTED IN THE MASTER PRINT MARKET?

Recently, the Master Print department at Pace has moved forward in time to include  the “new master prints”, i.e. those created between 1960 and 1990.   At the ADAA Art show at the Armory this past March we exhibited for the first time late prints by Matisse, Picasso and Miro alongside works by Lichtenstein, Diebenkorn, and Dine.  The installation looked seamless and sensational!

HOW DO YOU SEE THE FUTURE OF PACE MASTER PRINTS? IS INVENTORY LIMITED, AND WHAT ARE YOUR SOURCES?

The most challenging part of collecting and dealing in master prints is finding quality works in excellent condition.  It was difficult even thirty years ago and the supply is steadily dwindling.   But it’s important to continue holding onto the same high standards and only buy the very best you can afford.  We are fortunate, even with the fluctuations in the economy, that the overall market for high quality master prints has remained relatively stable and in many instances has greatly appreciated.

THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR THIS INFORMATIVE AND DETAILED VIEW OF THE WORLD OF MASTER PRINTS. NEXT WE WILL EXPLORE THE AREA OF WORKS ON PAPER, WITH THE WONDERFUL DEALER, BETTY KRULIK, PRESIDENT OF KRULIK FINE ART, AND A DEDICATED ADVISOR, WITH EXPERIENCE IN THE GALLERY, ACADEMIC AND AUCTION WORLD.  BETTY HAS ESTABLISHED COLLECTING WORKS ON PAPER AS AN AREA OF GREAT SIGNIFICANCE IN AND OF ITSELF, NOT AN ADJUNCT TO A PAINTING AND SCULPTURE COLLECTION.

WE WELCOME YOUR QUESTIONS ON THIS SUBJECT AND ANY OTHER ART-RELATED ONE, AND SUGGESTIONS ON TOPICS THAT YOU WOULD LIKE ME TO EXPLORE.