Master in Etching Techniques

Project location: ITALY, Rome
Project start date: October 2009 - Project end date: October 2010
Project number: 2009-35
Beneficiary: Fondazione “Laboratorio 2RC – Officina Contemporaneo”

 [2013-077 | 2015-042]

The Nando Peretti Foundation awarded a grant for this project which consists in organizing a master in Etching techniques which will be implemented in Rome in the Foundation 2RC printmaking laboratory, located in via Cappelletta della Giustiniana 95A.

The project has the following objectives:

1. to establish a lab of formation and specialization, improvement and promotion of doctorate of research in the etching techniques, open to the best students in the arts both Italian and international, and also to young and established artists. The students will be selected by the Foundation 2RC within a group of graduated students chosen by the Academics of Arts in Italy and abroad. The Foundation 2Rc will reserve the faculty of selecting students that demonstrate a particular talent even though not graduated.
2. to improve the artistic research in the etching techniques through the experimentation of the these, involving the artists in an active research, by inviting them to work with the young artists and produce an artwork that will be then sold in the market. The fund raised in this occasion will sustain the future masters.

The 2RC Foundation already organized the first, experimental course in artistic engraving and etching from the 5th of May through the 10th of June 2009 in Beijing. The Foundation 2RC donated to the China Central Academy of Fine Arts a large etching press with the goal to create a unique moment of experimentation in the etching field in China and the aim both of intensifying the relations and exchanges between Italy and China and also to invite Chinese and International artists to participate to the course.

The Master in Etching techniques will see three stages of studies. Will be admitted to the Master 15 students.

The teaching body of the Master will be formed by:

- Valter Rossi, born in Milan in 1938, graduated at the Brera Art Academy and founder of the 2RC Printshop.
- Eleonora Rossi, born in Bengasi in 1937, graduated at the Brera Art Academy and founder of the 2RC Printshop.
- Raffaele d'Orsogna, born in Lanciano (CH) in 1951, graduated at Rome Fine Art Academy. Technician of the 2RC printshop since 1975.
- Adriano Corazzo, born in Rome in 1952, graduated in electrical engineering.
- Technician of the 2RC printshop since 1975.

The Master course will see three stages of studies that will bring the students through a progressive acknowledgment of the artistic etching technique:

- Basic phase: 2 months
- Second phase: 3 months
- Final phase: 3 months

The Master will be developed in 15/20 hours per week.

Basic phase of the course:

This phase of the course consists on:

1. Teaching the consolidated ethics in the etching techniques from its beginning until today.

2. Teaching the rules:

• which face the use of materials and products: acids, metals, paper etc. so to become aware of the origins and basic applications and understand the utility and, in certain cases, also the danger.
• which face logic progress of the techniques: Woodcut, etching, aquatint, lithograph and silkscreen.
• to approach and use of the mechanical structures of support up to the etching presses.
• for the attention of environment and the sharing of responsibilities.

3. Teaching the story of the origin of graphic art to understand the different motivations in each historical period and the application of these techniques as they were used in the past (as copies of paintings or the popularization - to illustrate books).

4. Teaching the application of the past techniques using them for a personal poetic and contemporary vision and develop a series of etchings (minimum 3) on a theme or illustrate a book.

5. Teaching the rules of behavior. This initial phase is fundamental as all that has happened in the art printmaking field originates from this initial period and it allowed the image to be divulgated in a multiple way, from this moment all the rules of behavior began. These rules will have to be a base for all the other courses.

Second phase of the course:

This phase consists in realizing an experimental project suggested by the students in which they will try to substitute the traditional methods in the etching techniques.

The second phase has two steps:

1. The Technical research: suggestions on behalf of the students to substitute the traditional methods, more suitable for todays works, collaborating in close relation with the technicians and teachers with the woodcut, lithograph, silkscreen techniques, so to understand affinities and the different applications, with the goal to identify the limits and the possible inputs to improve the various techniques. At this point, it is necessary, in the different techniques to establish what can be done with each technique, and also the limits of these. Therefore give more attention to the etching technique where the Foundation's experience has demonstrated what had to be done and how much can still be done, in respect to the other techniques, which are valid but have minimum margines of growth. For what regards the woodcut technique the collaboration with the Central Academy of Fine Arts of Beijing will allow the Foundation 2RC to invite the best professors in the woodcut field. As woodcut has originated from China and still today is their technique of excellence.

2. The Application of the results of the technical research:
The application lives two moments:
- the first will be purely technical until the technique experimented will be stable and its publication official.
- The second will be the experimentation with the students which have already chosen the artistic orientation and will be able with this new technique to resolve problems which where unresolved with the known techniques, collaborating from this moment on with whom has discovered the new technique.

Final phase of the course:

The students which will demonstrate the best results both in the artistic and technical field will be pointed out to the invited artists to publish editions, to participate in their presence (where accepted), to the experimentation and birth of the work of art and will also have the chance to understand the approach, the timing and solutions, which sometimes are extemporaneous, that make the difference. At this point after the Bon à tirèr, they will follow the publishing of the edition participating physically to all the process up to the final numbering and signature of the artist.

The first outcome of the project consists in creating the first master in etching techniques in Italy, there where Walter and Eleonora Rossi with their established experience will transmit to the students their unique know how.

The second outcome of the project consists in creating professional opportunities for the students in etching techniques since the Foundation 2RC has a long term collaboration with the following institutions: Brera Academy, Milan; Fine Arts Academy, Rome; GAMC - Modern and Contemporary Art Gallery of Viareggio (Carrara Academy); Central Academy of Fine Arts, Beijing; Luxun Art Academy, Shenyang; MIUR, Ministry of the Universities and Research of Rome.

The nonprofit Foundation "Laboratorio 2RC - Officina Contemporaneo" was founded on the 28th of April 2009 with the objective to set up the first international school on artistic engraving and etching, starting from the experience of Masters Valter and Eleonora Rossi.
In 1959 Valter and Eleonora Rossi founded the 2RC printshop in Rome, with the intention to demonstrate that graphic art is at the same level of painting and sculpture and not extension of these. The objective was to create a technical-artistic laboratory able to develop new graphic techniques for allowing the artists to create freely the graphic art.
The creation of large etching presses of extraordinary power, designed by Valter Rossi himself and all the equipment that was subsequently necessary allowed the realization of large format etchings of absolute graphic autonomy that attracted to the 2RC artists like Lucio Fontana, Alberto Burri, Giò Pomodoro, Giuseppe Capogrossi, Giulio Turcato, Giuseppe Santomaso, Piero Dorazio, Pietro Consagra, Achille Perilli, Beverly Pepper, Adolph Gottlieb e Afro.
In 1969/1970 Unesco commissioned the 2RC to produce a portfolio of etchings by Juan Mirò, Alexander Calder, Victor Vasarely, Victor Pasmore, Sonia Delaunay, Louise Nevelson, Sebastian Matta, Man Ray, Max Bill and Wotruba.
In 1974 at the National Modern Art Gallery in Rome, the exhibition L'arte della Stampa (The Art of Printmaking) was presented by Palma Bucarelli.
In 1980 at the Pacific Design Center of Los Angeles the exhibition Big Prints form Rome is realized, while the first retrospective traveling exhibition goes to Japan in important Japanese Museums.
In the meantime the Roman printshop begins to collaborate with Francis Bacon, Henry Moore, Graham Sutherland, Victor Pasmore, Julian Schnabel, Enzo Cucchi, Francesco Clemente e Jannis Kounellis.
In April 2007 at the Arnaldo Pomodoro Foundation in Milan the second retrospective exhibition was presented by Prof. Achille Bonito Oliva: The Doublefold dream of Art: 2RC between the artist and the artificer. This exhibition was also presented at the Academy of Russian Art in Moscow and at the Academy of Fine Arts of Saint Petersburg.
The 18th of January the traveling exhibition has been presented at the CAFA Museum, Central Academy of Fine Arts, and at the same time a large etching press "Decebalo" with the equipment has been donated to the Academy, where the first workshop took place from the 5th of May to the 10th of June.
The traveling exhibition then moved on to the Luxun Art Academy Museum of Shenyang, to the Sichuan Fine Art Institute Museum of Chongqing and will be presented in Seoul at the MOA Museum of Art of the Seoul National University on the 12th of September in occasion of the visit of the president Giorgio Napolitano.

In 2016 this project received the third grant from the Nando and Elsa Peretti Foundation

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