Letterpress monoprint on found ledger card , 12.5 x 20 cm
Edition of 12 unique copies
Karel Martens is an artist, typographer, graphic designer, industrial designer, bookmaker, and educator, based in Amsterdam. For his exhibition at Kunstverein München, Martens produced an exclusive series of his celebrated letterpress monoprints on found ledger cards.
The monoprints are a site for visual experimentation and formal research for Martens, who works on them nearly every day. Using a small bookbinder's press, they are made by imprinting found metal hardware into recycled materials, such as castaway collection cards from museums, bureaucratic ledger cards, blank documents, discarded identity records, and raw packing paper. The motif on a single print may take several years to develop, subject to constant reexamination and overprinting by Martens.
For this new series of 12, Martens applied ink to a m-shaped metal plate often used in old electronic mechanisms. He then successively pressed the shape onto a used Belgian tax card, progressively developing layers of different colors so as to produce precise chromatic effects. While each print is entirely unique, they serve as fragments of an ongoing process of looking and thinking, occupying an unusual position between design and art.