Random Print of the Week #3939

This week’s random print is a small piece of newsprint with color tests and numbers. By itself it says very little. But this paper swatch is just one of the more than 20 that Thomas Seawell used to make two of his Art Doors prints, specifically the doors of the homes of Jackson Pollock and Aaron Copland.

In addition to this proof, the AP/RC collection of Seawell’s work includes many of his hand-drawn transparencies, Rubylith separations, and color swatches that were used to develop the final screen prints. Because these materials are numbered, a definitive sequence of printing can be reckoned easily.

Rubylith stencils can be used to create an entire image for a screen print. But the combination of fine-line drawing directly on transparencies and stencil is what makes Seawell’s prints so engaging. In the case of these two “door prints”, I speculate that Seawell printed the editions for both prints using the same screen. His drawings for the Pollock and Copland doors are always paired together in the same transparency and the proofs are equidistant from one newsprint page to another, but the layers are developed at different paces. For instance, one proof may have Copland’s 17th color but Pollock’s 18th.

As for the actual prints, they are exactly what they profess to be, Art Doors.

Michael Glenn

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