Essay by Kimberly Schenck

Cliché-Verre: Drawing and Photography

by Kimberly Schenck

Head of Paper Conservation at the National Gallery of Art , Washington D.C.

American Institute Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works

(link to original article)

(excerpt from article, page 116)


Many individuals making cliches-verre were associated in some way with Berdich, Durieux, or Koutroulis, but not all artists. Jaromir Stephany, a former student of Henry Holmes Smith and photography instructor at the University of Maryland Baltimore County, painted and stained small pieces of film with viscous inks, scratched abstract images through the grounds, and then enlarged his drawings onto gelatin silver papers. Unlike many contemporary artists, Stephany was acquainted with 19th-century cliches-verre before creating his own images starting in the late 1960’s. The photographer John Bloom, also familiar with earlier cliches-verre, coated small plates with kerosene lantern smoke into which lines were drawn with saw blades, guitar strings, and nails. The plates were enlarged onto transparent film and sometimes placed over watercolor drawings on paper. 24 Jack Sal, another photographer, explored minimalism with calligraphic repetition of marks. He drew on Japanese or other translucent papers and printed on developing-out and printing-out papers. Another artist working in the 1970’s, Katherine Pappas Parks poured sand onto clear or frosted glass and drew into the sand with fingers and brushes; then photographic paper was placed below the glass, exposed, and processed.

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