The Masters Behind the Matrix: Fine Art Prints at VFA

At Vertu, we are dedicated to the acquisition of, and education about, fine art prints. Fine art printmaking is both an art and a science. Over the centuries, artists have created masterful artworks on wood, copper and other matrixes to turn into high quality prints. The collaboration between artists and master printers often determines the quality of the work and, at times, the trajectory of an artist’s career.


The Masters Behind the Matrix

Picasso’s relationship with master printers, Piero and Aldo Crommelynck, lasted  longer, and was more productive, than many of Picasso’s other liaisons. Younger brother, Piero Crommelynck, appears about 150 times in Picasso’s work.


Picasso had worked with the Crommelynck brothers in the 1960s, and when he moved to the south of France in 1963, the brothers followed. The work that Picasso produced during the succeeding decade was magnificent, and also, prolific.


The Crommelynck brothers  moved back to Paris in 1973, after Picasso’s death. They continued their work, not just with established masters like Joan Miro, but also with a new generation of artists, including David Hockney, Jasper Johns and Jim Dine.


It was largely thanks to Kenneth Tyler that there was a resurgence of printmaking in the United States. An artist in his own right, Tyler studied printmaking at the John Herron School of Art in Indiana. He graduated in 1963 with a Master of Art Education degree. In 1965, Tyler opened Gemini G.E.L. (Graphic Editions Ltd.) in Los Angeles and, in 1975 he established Tyler Graphics in upstate New York.



Besides inspiring artists and helping them to create outstanding fine art prints, Tyler designed the first of several hydraulic lithographic presses, a computer-controlled, power-driven combination lithography and etching press with a five-by-ten foot printing bed and, through a grant from the National Endowment for the arts, he did research and development into paper and embossing techniques.


The artists who worked with Ken Tyler, during his fifty year career, include Frank StellaRobert RauschenbergJasper JohnsDavid Hockney and Jim Dine.


Today, in Los Angeles, many artists like Ed RuschaDonald Sultan and Alex Katz work with Mixografia, a company that was founded in Mexico three generations ago, and expanded to Los Angeles in 1984. Their three-dimensional printing technique has been perfected over the course of over 40 years.


Fine Art Prints for Sale at VFA

The more we understand about the creative process that goes into each fine art print, the more appreciation we have of the work.


The word “print” in the twenty-first century has come to mean “copy” in the everyday world and the average person has a very limited understanding of what constitutes an original fine art print. At VFA we promote education and understanding about fine art prints, one of the world’s most outstanding and significant art forms.


The collection of outstanding fine art prints for sale at VFA represents the work of both established twentieth century masters and a new generation of twenty first century artists who have embraced printmaking.

April 16, 2019
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