I have a problem that has vexed me since I was a teenager: I always assume people know what I know. It recently struck me that maybe you don’t know what a platemark is. It’s the embossed edges the plate makes as it goes through the press under immense pressure. If you look at the edges of an etching, for instance, you should be able to see those marks. The name felt like great metaphor for the podcast’s framework within which we can talk about any number of topics. So far, Platemark, as a podcast about art and ideas, has lived up to that framework.
Going back to series one, over eight episodes Ben Levy and I talked about all manner of topics relating to museums and curators, critiques and studio visits, market value and conceptual value, redefining the Western art historical canon and decolonization, and prints and printmaking, and the print ecosystem. The main goal of the first series is to demystify the role of the curator and the museum, and to sing the praises of prints and printmaking.
In series two, Tru Ludwig and I make the case for the printed image as a critical part of our shared history and visual culture through episodes offering a history of Western prints beginning with the first press and continuing to today. [I know a podcast on art history is counter intuitive since images are integral to the entire pedagogical enterprise. But fear not, I’ve collected all the images featured in each history of prints episode and have included them in each episode’s show notes over at platemarkpodcast.com.]
Along our chronological trajectory, Tru and I have reached the 17th century and Rembrandt van Rijn. Tru and I are taking a summer break from the History of Prints, so it’s time to introduce Platemark listeners to series three, which focuses on the colorful characters that occupy the print ecosystem.
Prints seem to be a bit intimidating for people. The technical aspects are involved and can be complicated. But I promise, once I get you over that speedbump, there is a wonderful world waiting for you. An added bonus: print people are the nicest people in the art world.
So, I’ve asked people from various parts of the ecosystem to talk to us about their role, their work, and their part in the system. We’ll talk to artists, master printers, print publishers, administrators, directors, gallerists, art historians, curators, and paper conservators, as well other people who are invested in the success and evolution of prints and print publishing.
For this first episode of series three I’m joined by series one co-host Ben Levy (he’s back!). We had the great pleasure of interviewing Paula and Russell Panczenko in person at the conference of the Southern Graphics Council International in Madison, Wisconsin, in March 2022. It feels like Paula needs no introduction, but she’s the director of Tandem Press, a self-supporting entity affiliated alongside the Art Department within the School of Education at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She is married to Russell Panczenko who retired after thirty-three years as the director and chief curator of the Chazen Museum of Art, the museum of the University of Wisconsin in Madison.
In addition to hearing about how they got into the art business in the first place, Paula tells us how an artist can work with the fine folks at Tandem Press. It ought to interest all you printmakers out there.
Give a listen and let us know what you think.