The Estorick Collection of Modern Italian Art re-opened recently and has extended Tullio Crali: A Futurist Life until the end of August. Following Government guidance, safety measures including online booking, timed entry slots and direction markers provide for visitors to experience a more relaxed viewing environment.
Having worked with the team to produce irresistible art catalogues for many years Cartouche has a keen interest in the Estorick' s success. During lockdown Museum Director, Roberta Cremoncini provided a virtual tour on Instagram. This prompted me to reflect on the value to them of holding an archive of catalogues readily available for sale, many designed and printed by Cartouche.
Do gallery managers, art collectors and enthusiasts still appreciate the tangible properties of an exhibition catalogue? The spectrum of colours that dance off the page, the tactile texture of the pages, the artisan craft of sewn binding and the thrill of opening freshly printed pages. Moreover, do they consider the potential commercial opportunities long after the exhibition has moved on? Irresistible art catalogues have an incredibly long tail!
Attention to detail at every stage of the print process is so intense. Can a computer screen truly represent your portfolio? Take the Modigliana catalogue which features delicate stylised sketches inspired by ancient Egyptian art. Digital proofing preceded colour correction to realise printed pages that stood the test of professional scrutiny. It was critical that the subtle tonal shading defining the artist’s style was clearly reflected by the half-tone dot formations.
The celebrity photographs reproduced in “The Years of La Dolce Vita” demanded special attention. Parapazzi images from Marcello Geppetti and behind-the-scenes shots by cinematograper Arturo Zavattini captured Hollywood stars at play. Reproductions of these photos showing Audrey Hepburn, Liz Taylor, Charlton Heston and others needed to project their spontaneity, movement and depth. The challenge for Cartouche was to bring these images to life by significantly increasing the tonal range - achieved by means of a black and grey duo-tone.
“More than meets the Eye” was a fascinating collaboration between the Estorick Collection and the University of Pisa whereupon the Collection's masterpieces were subject to scientific analysis. It describes the comprehensive photographic, x-ray and multispectral imaging techniques used to analyse and identify painting styles. It also revealed the pigments used and helped to form a history of the subject artwork. During research a previously unknown artwork was discovered masked by Giacomo Balla's “The Hand of the Violinist”.
Work undertaken by Cartouche for the Estorick Collection is testing, not only have we to demonstrate a high degree of competence in fine-art reprographics to earn the confidence of Director and Curator. We also need to pass critical examination by art historians and the aficionados who buy these catalogues.
Cartouche welcome more enquiries from clients who value print!
*Dynamism of a Cyclist, Umberto Boccioni by kind permission of the Estorick Collection.