Celebrating the finest of the fine print

After a morning commute teaming with DJ-night flyers, advertisement-wrapped busses, and free newspapers, it’s easy to forget about the art of print. (Oh iPad, you are a different problem for a different day.)

But as Jose Roca sees it, print is poised to claim its place in the popular conception of contemporary art:?“In the ’80s, photography made its eruption into contemporary art and stayed there. In the ’90s, drawing became a major part of the contemporary art scene,” says the artistic director of Philagrafika 2010. “I feel that we could do the same with printmaking as a major driving force in contemporary art. Of course, it’s ambitious.”

You can’t argue that they aimed high: The first of what will be a triennial international festival, Philagrafika 2010 features work by more than 300 artists in more than 80 spaces across the city.

Of course, even if you’re not interested in the big picture, there’s a good chance you’ll still appreciate Philly-based Virgil Marti’s playful window installation at Moore, or Qiu Zhijie’s mesmerizing, large-scale ink rubbings on display at PAFA. “Even if you for some reason don’t end up buying the idea of print, you will still experience amazing works of art,” says Roca. “Everything starts with the art.”

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