Aquantinte Heike Arndt

Text by Alanna Dongowski

Aquatinta is a very delicate technique. The printing plate is partially covered with protection, partially dusted. The dusted areas let some of the etching acid sink in, creating a grainy, textured finish. Dividing the surface like this allows the artist to fill in whole areas at once, to use half-tones and to work out light and shadow. As the plates wear out easily du to their complex make-up, they cannot be reproduced too often.

Keeping these special technical aspects in mind, Heike Arndt saves Aquatinta for equally sensitive topics. Her etchings often deal with childhood and may display children in earnest greyscale shades. Although the subjects appear unusually sincere and fragile, nothing here is just black and white. The prints’ melancholic, mood-laden atmosphere still retains nuances and subtile overtones.

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