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8/18/2011 Houston— Highlighting the range of experimentation of the intaglio printmaking technique by artists from the 16th century to today, Acid on Metal: The Art of Etching and Aquatint will open September 11 in the MFAH Audrey Jones Beck Building. The etching and aquatint printmaking processes have captivated artists for centuries, from Dürer, Rembrandt and Goya to Whistler, Hopper, Klee and Turrell. In addition to the works of art, etching tools, plates and books will be exhibited.

Primarily showcasing works from the MFAH collection, as well as a selection from the Sarah Campbell Blaffer Foundation, Rice University, and private collections, the exhibition will display over 60 etchings and aquatints, on view through November 27, 2011. The exhibition title, Acid on Metal, refers to the technical process in which acid is used to ―bite an image into the plate before printing it on paper.

―Etching has its own distinct visual appeal, and effects created in this medium are difficult, if not impossible, to replicate in another medium. Featuring an impressive selection of influential artists, and running the gamut from the Renaissance to contemporary art, Acid on Metal reveals how artists utilized etching in different fashions throughout time,‖ commented Dena Woodall, assistant curator of prints and drawings. ―The exhibition demonstrates an incredible array of artistic expressions in the medium, and we hope audiences will come away with an enhanced understanding of etching and aquatint."

Organized chronologically, Acid on Metal begins with work from the 16th century, after etching was first adapted in Germany, inspired by medieval artisans who incised designs into armor and shields. In the mid-1600s, the process evolved to convey enriched tonal values, and by the 17th century—known as the ―great age of etching—the technique had been perfected—notably by Rembrandt. The painter-printmaker movement of the mid-to-late 19th century renewed the technique in France, England and America, and the revival continued into the 20th and 21st century with artists practicing Expressionism, Modernism, and contemporary art.

The exhibition is the second in a series of MFAH print exhibitions that examines printmaking techniques. Going with the Grain: Woodcuts from Houston Collections, in
2008, focused on the woodcut; upcoming shows will feature lithography, mezzotint, and screen-print processes.