Invention & Revival: The Colour Drypoints of David Milne & John Hartman

John HartmanInvention & Revival: The Colour Drypoints of David Milne & John Hartman
by Rosemarie Tovell, Anne-Marie Ninacs, John Hartman
Published by Carleton University Art Gallery, 2008
Hardcover, 143 pages

Recognized as of the greatest artists of the mid-twentieth century, David Milne (1882-1953) was the first to develop the multiple-plate colour drypoint. This entirely new process was the simplest of techniques. Lines are scratched into copper or zinc plates, creating a residual metal “burr” that later catches the ink, creating soft lines more akin to drawing than to the finely detailed lines of etching or engraving. Milne exploited his invention to gorgeous effect but despite – or perhaps because of – his mastery of it, other artists did not follow suit. Decades later, John Hartman (b. 1950) was inspired to take up the technique and has produced a remarkable body of prints that shares much in common with Milne’s oeuvre, in aesthetic, geographic, and spiritual terms. In order to explore the affinities between the two artist, this publication brings together forty-two prints by Milne and Hartman, including Hartman’s spectacular Cities series, which demonstrate his continuing drive to push the limits of the drypoint technique. Two scholarly essays and a conversation between John Hartman and the son of David Milne are accompanied by forty-two full-page colour plates.