Untitled monoprints, 1990-2018

Karel Martens (b. 1939) was trained as an artist but is most known as a freelance graphic designer, specializing in typography. Alongside this, he has always made non-commissioned graphic and three-dimensional work. His renowned series of monoprints are a beautiful example of this autonomous practice and a long-standing occupation.

By using ink on found metal objects (for example discarded flat car parts) different compositions are made on found index or catalogue cards. With an old bookbinders’ press, an almost daily experiment starts with colour and form, producing unique compositions that bear Martens’ unmistakable visual energy, and continuous motion.

His methods are slow but very precise; he prints one colour per day, waits for it to dry, and prints the second colour the next day. By this method, Martens’ prints may take days or weeks to be completed.

A special mention are the archival cards – which Martens found – from the Stedelijk Museum, designed at that time by Willem Sandberg who was also director of the same museum. It is Martens’ longest on-going project and it started when the catalogues in the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam were being digitized and the old archive cards were being discarded. Martens have been using them as a canvas for his projects since then and each print is unique in that they are made from individual catalogue cards.

 

Karel Martens
Untitled, 2014
Letterpress monoprint on found card
99 x 152 mm Unique (KM2014-09)
Price: 1.500 EUR (incl. VAT)
Karel Martens
Untitled, 1990
Letterpress monoprint on found card
203 x 285 mm, unique (KM1990-01)
(Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam catalogue card)
Price: 4.000 EUR (incl. VAT)
Karel Martens
Untitled, 2012
Letterpress monoprint on found card
148 x 208 mm, unique (KM2012-02)
Sold
Karel Martens
Untitled, 2012
Letterpress monoprint on found card
148 x 208 mm, unique (KM2012-03)
Price: 2.000 EUR (incl. VAT)
Karel Martens
Untitled, 2013
Letterpress monoprint on found card
148 x 208 mm, unique (KM2013-01)
Sold
Karel Martens
Untitled, 2014
Letterpress monoprint on found card
99 x 152 mm, unique (KM2014-1)
Price: 1.500 EUR (incl. VAT)
Karel Martens
Untitled, 2014
Letterpress monoprint on card (Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam)
206 x 293 mm, unique (KM2014-02)
Price: 3.500 EUR (incl. VAT)
Karel Martens
Untitled, 2014
Letterpress monoprint on found card
170 x 235 mm, unique (KM2014-04)
Price: 2.400 EUR (incl. VAT)
Karel Martens
Untitled, 2014
Letterpress monoprint on found card
198 x 153 mm, unique (KM2014-06)
Price: 2.000 EUR (incl. VAT)
Karel Martens
Untitled, 2014
Letterpress monoprint on found card
198 x 149 mm, unique (KM2014-07)
Price: 2.000 EUR (incl. VAT)
Karel Martens
Untitled, 2014
Letterpress monoprint on found card
148 x 208 mm, unique (KM2014-08)
Sold
Karel Martens
Untitled, 2015
Letterpress monoprint on found card
206 x 293 mm, unique (KM2015-02)
(Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam catalogue card)
Price: 3.500 EUR (incl. VAT)
Karel Martens
Untitled, 2015
Letterpress monoprint on found card
148 x 208 mm, unique (KM2015-03)
Price: 2.000 EUR (incl. VAT)
Karel Martens
Untitled, 2015
Letterpress monoprint on found card
145 x 103 mm, unique (KM2015-05)
Sold
Karel Martens
Untitled, 2016
Letterpress monoprint on found card
124 x 199 mm, unique (KM2016-01)
Price: 1.900 EUR (incl. VAT)
Karel Martens
Untitled, 2016
Letterpress monoprint on found card
124 x 199 mm, unique (KM2016-02)
Price: 1.900 EUR (incl. VAT)
Karel Martens
Untitled, 2016
Letterpress monoprint on found card
124 x 199 mm, unique (KM2016-03)
Sold
Karel Martens
Untitled, 2016
Letterpress monoprint on found card
124 x 199 mm, unique (KM2016-04)
Price: 1.900 EUR (incl. VAT)
Karel Martens
Untitled, 2016
Letterpress monoprint on found card
124 x 199 mm Unique (KM2016-05)
Price: 1.900 EUR (incl. VAT)
Karel Martens
Untitled, 2017
Letterpress monoprint on found card
127 x 200 mm, unique (KM2017-04)
Price: 1.900 EUR (incl VAT)
Karel Martens
Untitled, 2016
Letterpress monoprint on found card
148 x 208 mm, unique (KM2016-06)
Price: 2.000 EUR (incl. VAT)
Karel Martens
Untitled, 2016
Letterpress monoprint on found card
148 x 208 mm, unique (KM2016-08)
Price: 2.000 EUR (incl. VAT)
Karel Martens
Untitled, 2016
Letterpress monoprint on found card
99 x 151 mm, unique (KM2016-10)
Price: 1.500 EUR (incl. VAT)
Karel Martens
Untitled, 2016
Letterpress monoprint on found card
145 x 103 mm, unique (KM2016-11)
Sold
Karel Martens
Untitled, 2018
Letterpress monoprint on found card
127 x 200 mm, unique (KM2018-04)
Sold
Karel Martens
Untitled, 2016
Letterpress monoprint on found card
127 x 200 mm, unique
Price: 1.900 EUR (incl VAT)
Karel Martens
Untitled, 2018
Letterpress monoprint on found card
127 x 200 mm, unique (KM2018-05)
Price: 1.900 EUR (incl VAT)
Karel Martens
Untitled, 2018
Letterpress monoprint on found card
127 x 200 mm, unique (KM2018-07) Price: 1.900 EUR (incl VAT)
Karel Martens
Untitled, 2018
Letterpress monoprint on found card
127 x 200 mm, unique (KM2018-06)
Price: 1.900 EUR (incl VAT)
Karel Martens
Untitled, 2018
Letterpress monoprint on found card
127 x 200 mm, unique (KM2017-06)
Price: 1.900 EUR (incl VAT)
Karel Martens
Untitled, 2018
Letterpress monoprint on found card
100 x 152 mm, unique (KM2018-11)
Price: 1.500 EUR (incl VAT)
Karel Martens
Untitled, 2018
Letterpress monoprint on found card
100 x 153 mm, unique (KM2018-12)
Sold