Black Light by Boris Margo

Black Light by Boris Margo

Black Light

Boris Margo

Title

Black Light

 
Artist

Boris Margo

  1902 - 1995 (biography)
Year
1946  
Technique
color cellocut 
Image Size
9 7/8 x 11 3/4" platemark 
Signature
ink, lower right 
Edition Size
50 
Annotations
none 
Reference
Gelb & Schmeckebier 31 
Paper
cream wove 
State
published 
Publisher
artist 
Inventory ID
BOMA112 
Price
$1,200.00 
Description

An amorphous, glowing color print done during the height of experimental printmaking in the United States, Margo’s “Black Light” displays the hallmarks of his 1940s cellocut innovation: wild, unpredictable forms poured onto the plate, shaped by the artist’s exploration of texture, made luminous by washes of color. An alien landscape emerges from the shadows, or perhaps something more akin to bioluminescent aquatic life. Margo’s work rarely strays from the non-representational. Instead, he dives headfirst into the unknown, trusting in the process to mold his vision onto the sheet.

The experimental printmaking technique called "cellocut" was developed in 1931 and named by Boris Margo. In the original cellocut method, liquid celluloid (a cellulose-based thermoplastic that has been dissolved in acetone) is poured onto a rigid support backing, such as Masonite or plywood. Once solidified, the plastic can be textured, raised into relief, and worked with various tools. It can be engraved, scratched, sanded, and filed; the plate can be worked with woodcut or intaglio tools. These tools include any type of gouge, file, knife, or blade that can scribe lines, textures, or facilitate removal of the surface to create a “high and low” profile. The high profiles will print, the low will resist inking.

The resulting plastic plate can be printed either as a relief or as an intaglio plate, or even both. It can be printed alone or in combination with other techniques. Thin layers of plastics can easily be placed on top of intaglio plates and printed as a single unit. This opens completely new forms of prints and can lead to the development of series works that utilize similar forms and textures. There is virtually no limit to the variety of prints you can create using as a basis one cellocut to which you add found texture sections, such as fabrics, paper stencils, etc.

 

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