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Dragana Franssen Bojić

What is the position of fine art printmaking today in 2020?

For a very long time, printmaking was belittled as an artistic discipline.
The issue of whether printmaking is a craft, a reproduction or an original creation is absurd today. Of course, printmaking is very much a craft with many techniques and recipes. This does not mean that creativity is excluded.
It is enough to visit the biennials and triennials of printmaking in the world and see the inexhaustible wealth of creativity and how prints are on equal footing with all other disciplines of art which they are an inseparable part of.

From Durer, via Andy Warhol, Alechinsky to the present, 2020, it is clear that printmaking has flourished and expanded to infinite limits.
Thanks to its artistic potentials and new technologies, prints have surpassed all horizons.
Because, the sheet of paper or other material is the basis for all sorts of experiments and combinations.
Thus, it is beyond all borders!
From the line to fine surfaces, from graphism to intense color, from a minimalist approach to euphoric expressiveness, it has been liberated from the cliché.
There are no limits for printmaking and other disciplines in contemporary art.
Traditional matrices, wood, metal, linoleum, lithographic stone, combined with photography, video, digital printing (new technologies), are just tools that the modern artist uses to get the final image.
That image is, in fact, the goal of artistic realization, and the path leading to the image is chosen by the artist . Everything is allowed if the work of art provokes feeling, excitement or even induces a provocation.
In that sense, categorization would be superfluous.
However, prints are printed and editions are made, reproduction is possible. So let it stay in its category.

There is no limit to the artist's freedom, which would prevent him/her from expressing his/her most subtle feelings in the play with media, colors, lines or materials, and he/she transmits his/her subconscious world to the observer through such a sensitive surface as is paper.
Oh, Paper !!!
It is an incurable love!
The very touch of its surface is already a sensual experience!
It crosses all borders. A roll or a larger envelope is enough and off it goes!
Prints are already in an another part of the planet.
Printmakers love to exchange, socialize, love new experiences and new knowledge.
And art lovers are increasingly interested in the print and buy it to enrich their collections.

My experience as an artist, in a period of global change and periods of crisis, gives me the right to firmly support printmaking and artistic creation in general…
Art and printmaking, as its inseparable part, are a journey towards communication and maintenance of cultural awareness as well as the need to enrich it.
It gives man, as an individual, at a time of a general globalization of culture, economy and politics, the opportunity to cultivate in that "GARDEN" optimism, his/her own originality and knowledge that he/she exists as a personality.
In this difficult period of Covid-19 isolation and lack of social and sensory contact, I used printmaking to achieve contact virtually, via the Internet, exchanging photos of new works. I am in contact with colleagues from all over the world.
It gives me the will to endure and continue working, the kind of daily work that helps me go on in such difficult times.

The artist has, through the centuries, proved that his existence and inventiveness is a necessary link in the chain of events. With his avant-garde, he/she opened new and nobler paths leading to a broader consciousness.

Everything is allowed to an artist!

It means that printmaking is "BEYOND THE BORDERS"!


Opening of the exhibition of D. Franssen Bojić at the Graphic Collective Gallery, 12 July 2010

Maybe I should say something about my work.

As an artist, I treat light and darkness as a concept.
Darkness as well as light resides in all of us, they are a part of our being and that ambiguity and contrast is the essence of our beings. It is a challenge to reflect upon.
I started printmaking with lithography as a technique closest to painting.
Brush strokes on stone as a matrix provide a feeling very close to brushstrokes on canvas. The freedom of the gesture and the washed areas that result from that process, in themselves, with their refined poetics produce an experience similar to music.
The composition of the image can be enriched by introducing photography, text or video projection. These are the pleasures that lithography has given me.
Later, for technical reasons, I devoted myself to woodcarving. This noble matrix, as wood and its very structure, enabled me, through many transitions, to express my poetic aspiration towards light.
I often start printing using a dark color, so the next applications of ink are lighter tones going all the way to white, as the top stages of printing.
Numerous applications of ink, penetrate through the structure of wood and its pores, incisions and cavities creating a composition of previous applications and give the monochrome surface a feeling of vibration. Graphic color, mostly transparent by its properties, by overlapping also provides the possibility of creating numerous tonal variations. I print on Japanese or Chinese paper, on both sides (recto / verso).The transparency of that paper allows me to let the light, printed on one side (recto), directly affect the image provided by darkness, printed on the other side (verso). Thus, the image of darkness and light becomes directly dependent on each other and varies depending on which side it is viewed from.


D. Franssen Bojić, Nuit flottante, 2008, woodcut, 100x70 cm
D. Franssen Bojić, Blue méditasion, 2010, xylography, 50x70 cm
D. Franssen Bojić, Veils, graphic installation

I like a natural matrix, so I print on cotton paper as well. The complicated printing process, of course, does not prevent the reproduction of prints, but I opted for a unique original print.
I reproduce the prints very rarely. My maximum edition is 5/5, but I very rarely print 5/5. I prefer variations on the theme.

Dragana Franssen-Bojić, printmaker and painter
Artistic Advisor to the Wegimont Culture Gallery, Liège, Belgium
14 September 2020, Verviers, Belgium

Translation from Serbian: Vanda Perović

Dragana Franssen Bojić (1952, Kragujevac, Serbia). Studies in Civil Engineering Dam at the University of Belgrade. In Belgium since 1980. She studied painting and engraving at the Academy of Beaux-Arts in Verviers. She is one of the founding members of the associations “Silence, les Dunes”, “Group U” and an active member of “La Poupée d'encre”. She participated to multiple exhibitions and artists international workshop in Serbia, Quebec, Switzerland, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Denmark and Belgium. More



Graphic Collective Gallery, Dragoslava Jovanovića 11, Belgrade, Weekdays 12 - 20h, Saturdays 12 - 17h, Sundays closed
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