It is usual to have a harbinger to go before the writer of such a book as this with a trumpet: my friend Herbert Read did this office magnificently for the last book I wrote on prints. However, it is the opinion of my publisher that by now I am capable of blowing my own.
In this work it was not my intention to offer a cook-book, nor to compete with the do-it-yourself kits that have added another menace to life in our time. This book is addressed to the intelligent layman and technical matters are discussed only as they affect a print per se and not as they seem in the hands of a print-maker. I will admit that as a working painter and print-maker I may have been betrayed into discursions beyond this programme, but this was the intent.
In the selection of material to present I attempt to give a sampling of contemporary prints including some extreme experiments, with the intention of indicating the enormous variety in this field, rather than to offer a cross-section. It was clearly impossible to show the great number of fine prints of this time, so prints which would be provocative and little known were often chosen.
The definition of the orders of originality in prints might be thought to be in the domain of curators and dealers, just as many artists would leave questions of the mechanics of perception to psychologists. From this book it will be clear that in the writer's view both these matters interest the artist, because they have to do with his relation to his world. So it seemed that the fun of investigating variants and anomalies could also be permitted to the simple collector and not restricted to the expert.
For permission to reproduce prints I wish to thank Madame M. Lacourière, Messrs. Berggruen, Gheerbrandt of Galerie La Hune, Kahnweiler of the Galerie Louise Leiris, Jaeger of Galerie Jeanne Bucher, Aimé Maeght, and the Chalcographie du Louvre: all of . . .