Art Term

Monoprint

The monoprint is a form of printmaking where the image can only be made once, unlike most printmaking which allows for multiple originals

Hansjörg Mayer, ‘alphabet square’ 1967
Hansjörg Mayer
alphabet square 1967
Tate
© Hansjorg Mayer

An impression is printed from a reprintable block, such as an etched plate or woodblock, but in such a way that only one of its kind exists, for example by incorporating unique hand-colouring or collage.

The term can also refer to etchings which are inked and wiped in an expressive, not precisely repeatable manner; to prints made from a variety of printing elements that change from one impression to the next; or to prints that are painted or otherwise reworked by hand either before or after printing.

The beauty of monoprinting lies in its spontaneity and its allowance for combinations of printmaking, painting and drawing media.

Selected artworks in the collection