Gemini G.E.L. Online Catalogue Raisonné, National Gallery of Art HOME SEARCH GUIDE ESSAY GLOSSARY CREDITS

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Artist's copy. The copy of a three-dimensional object that is retained by the artist or publisher. Similar in nature to an artist's proof, it is usually the same as the edition but is a separate or additional publication.

acid bath
A process that produces recessed areas in the plate surface that holds ink. A metal plate is immersed in a shallow tray containing an acid solution that chemically dissolves the metal not protected by an acid resist.

airbrushed drawing
In lithography, an image-making technique in which tusche is blown onto a plate or stone instead of being applied by brush or pen. The tool used is an airbrush, which is generally attached to an electric compressor that can supply air to a precision spray gun. Airbrushes are particularly useful when creating an even gradation of tone or color.

anodized aluminum
Aluminum that has been electrochemically processed to change the molecular structure and alter its color to dark gray. The process hardens the surface, making it stain- and scratch-resistant.

Artist's proof. A proof that meets the right to print impression or standard used for the edition but is retained apart from the edition by the artist or publisher.

An intaglio technique that produces effects similar to a watercolor wash, creating both even tones and/or tones with gradation or blending effects. The process entails adhering fine particles of resin to a metal plate as an acid resist. After the plate has been treated in an acid bath, the acid-resistant material is removed. The resulting etched, or bitten, surface is composed of textured areas rather than lines. Aquatint is often used in combination with other intaglio techniques.

An art object that uses three-dimensional found objects. An extension of collage, this technique became popular towards the end of the 1950s.


A method of preparing an aluminum lithography plate that contributes to the resistance of grease and oil by providing a special even texture receptive to holding a drawing on the matrix.

Ben Day dots
A shading medium that creates a textural and/or tonal effect. Invented by Benjamin Day in 1879, it may be incorporated into a print by imposing a transparent sheet of dots on the image at some point during the photographic reproduction process.

An engraving tool with a knob-like wooden handle and a metal shaft that has a sharply beveled point that cuts a V-shaped groove into a metal printing plate and provides a clean rich line for printing.

An intaglio tool with a wooden handle and a metal shaft that has a smooth, hard end. It can be used to flatten the roughened printing plate by pressing against it, thereby lightening a line or a tonal area.


Cancellation proof. A proof that is printed after the edition and any states are signed. This proof is usually pulled from the most characteristic "key" element after the artist or printer has defaced it. When three-dimensional objects are made from a mold, the mold is destroyed after fabrication of the edition.

The process of making an art object by pouring liquid material into a mold. When the material has hardened, the mold is removed. A primary type of casting is the lost wax process.

cast paper
A three-dimensional paper made by dipping a shaped mold into a vat of paper pulp or by pouring or patting pulp in or around a shaped mold. Once the pulp has dried, it is separated from the mold. Molds can be constructed from a variety of materials such as found objects, wire, plastic screening, plaster, rubber, wood, or ceramic. See handmade paper.

chine collé
A method that uses glue during the printing process in order to adhere a thin, often Oriental, sheet of paper to a heavier sheet. The fragile paper is able to take a finer impression than the more substantial paper beneath. In contemporary prints, chine collé is often used for purely aesthetic purposes, exploiting the visual qualities of the collé paper rather than its ability to reproduce fine impressions.

Each Gemini publication bears an embossed, dry-stamped, or printed form of the Gemini chop. It is generally placed adjacent to the artist's signature and is accompanied by a copyright mark.

Change, Inc. impression. A proof meeting the right to print impression or standard used for the edition that is intended for distribution to Change, Inc., a tax-exempt non-profit organization that supports professional artists in financial emergency.

cold pressed
A kind of paper surface made by pressing a sheet of finished paper between cold cylinders to produce a slight texture.

A technique that incorporates fragments of commercially printed paper into compositions. Introduced into fine art by Georges Braque and Pablo Picasso circa 1909, collage was later developed by artists of the Dada and Surrealist movements to include found objects. Today any material fixed to a surface may be termed collage.

continuous tone
A photographic image, either positive or negative, that contains a full gradation of tonalities.

Collaboration proof. A proof meeting the right to print impression or standard used for the edition that is intended for distribution to a special group of artists or craftspeople.

Color progressive proof. A series of proofs intended to illustrate the development of the completed print by showing each color as added one by one.

Color trial copy. A three-dimensional object created during the proofing period that is a study related to the color to be used in the production of the edition.

Color trial proof. Generally, these proofs have the same printing elements as those in the edition. However, they may deviate from the edition through a sequence or color variance, or through added or deleted elements as in the trial proof. A color trial proof may have been pulled at any time during the proofing period or during the printing of the edition. They are signed if the artist feels they are a unique and desirable variation. There is often an overlap in intent between trial proof and the color trial proof.

A pattern, usually cut from a sheet of wood or metal, based on the artist's sketch. It acts as a template by which shapes can be accurately reproduced.


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