What is Printmaking?

Printmaking is the process of creating multiple works of art called prints from a surface called a matrix which is made from different materials known as plates. Prints are produced through a transfer process and an artist is able to control the total number of impressions or prints created by each matrix; this number is referred to as an edition. Over printmaking's long history, a variety of transfer processes or techniques have been developed. The main categories of techniques are relief, intaglio, lithography, and silkscreen or serigraph.

Visit the University of Alberta Museum's latest exhibition A Little Bit of Infinity to find out more about printmaking and to see an extraordinary selection of prints from the University of Alberta Art Collection that demonstrate a diverse variety of printmaking techniques.

Photo Credit:

Sushi Maru 11 "Hira Suzuki", 1995
Yosuke Imai
etching, aquatint, and chine collé on paper
University of Alberta Art Collection (1999.8)
University of Alberta Museums
Gift of the artist

About the Print Study Centre:

  • The University of Alberta Museums Print Study Centre has been an essential resource in establishing Edmonton and the University of Alberta’s international printmaking reputation. It facilitates first-hand study by faculty, students, scholars, artists, and members of the public who want to examine technique, research artists, or seek inspiration. Twenty years since its creation, the Print Study Centre has become internationally recognized by artists and students as an outstanding open-access facility to view and study works of art on paper.