Art Terminology Morphs!

There was a time when the terms monoprint and monotype were used interchangeably.

The change was defined at Northern Arizona University’s Art Museum 5th Biennial National Print Exhibition.  Their explanation is further supported on

Monoprints  are one of a series of prints in which each has some differences of color, design, texture applied to an underlying common image. Not to be confused with a monotype.

Monotypes are a one-of-kind print made by painting on a a smooth metal, glass or stone plate and then printing on paper. The pressue of printing creates a texture not possible when painting directly on paper. Not to be confused with monoprint.

From an artist’s viewpoint. “monoprints” currently refer to the progression of images resulting from working off a ghost from the first print pulled in a monoprinting session.  The “ghost” is the residue of ink remaining on the surface of the material on which the ink has been applied, subsequently used as a compositional springboard from which the next print’s composition is developed.   Subsequent prints can either be very similar from the first pull or radically different in color and/ or composition.  This continuum usually ends by the end of the printing session as residues on ink tend to dry over time. 

The new understanding of these two terms correspondingly results in numbering in excess of 1/1 whereas monotypes are simply numbered 1/1

It is important to stay current with respect to your understanding of art terms, if you want to consider yourself an “art smarty” !

Corinne Cain of

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