Art Term


Decalcomania is a blotting process whereby paint is squeezed between two surfaces to create a mirror image

Cornelia Parker, ‘Pornographic Drawing’ 1996
Cornelia Parker
Pornographic Drawing 1996
© Cornelia Parker

The most common example of decalcomania involves applying paint to paper then folding it, applying pressure and then unfolding the paper to reveal a mirror pattern.

Decalcomania is most commonly associated with the surrealist painters Max Ernst and Oscar Dominguez, who would use the technique and then turn the resulting patterns into landscapes and mythical creatures.

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