Accessibility menu option: Skip to main content Accessibility menu option: Skip to main navigation
Ask a Librarian

Are You Close Enough?

Iguana by Janet Turner


Janet E. Turner

Bywaters Special Collections at Hamon Arts Library hold a collection of prints, etched plates, and linoleum blocks created by Janet E. Turner, who served on the art faculties of several universities in Texas and California. The artifacts selected for the Post Chiaroscuro: Prints in Color After the Renaissance exhibition that represent this work include a set of intaglio screen prints and the etched metal plate used to create them.

The second set of questions on the ARHS 3364 looking assignment pertains specifically to this piece. A display case in the Post Chiaroscuro exhibition contains an impression of the work and the matrix used to make it. A nearby frame contains an additional impression.

Those using this website to view the meta-exhibition virtually can follow along using the images provided; click on an image to enlarge it.

Listen to the class discuss this work:

Looking Assignment

Question 2a: How does this matrix in the case differ from the ones Octavio Medellin used for Untitled (Hummingbird)?


(first response) Octavio Medellin's Untitled was produced from linoleum blocks, carved away in order to print ink from the raised surfaces. Each linoleum block corresponds with one color on the impression. Janet Turner's matrix is made out of metal. Unlike a relief matrix, Turner's intaglio matrix transfers ink from the grooves, or subtracted spaces, to the support. The metal matrix will leave an embossed effect on the support. Additionally, there are 6 matrices used for Untitled and only one used for Iguana.
Lauren Allday, Class of 2016

(second response) The matrix used for Iguana utilizes intaglio printing, in which ink is held in the bottom of incisions. Octavio Medellin's matrix utilizes relief printing, in which ink is held on the raised portion of the surface. Also, the matrix for Iguana is made of metal while the other is made of linoleum.
Collin Brown, Class of 2016

Question 2b: What differences do you see in how the two impressions of Iguana were made?

Answer: The two impressions of Iguana differ in terms of support. The impression in the case appears to be the result of two impressions that Turner manipulated and combined. She printed the background with light brown ink, and then cut the support along the perimeter of the plate mark. Next, Turner printed the iguana with umber ink, cut the support around the iguana, and affixed it to the first impression by means of glue, which is evident on the surface of the print. The impression on the wall was printed on a single support, with a clear plate mark that matches the plate in the case. However, it also demonstrates tonal variation, specifically reds and greens, that is the result either of selective application of ink during inking or hand-coloring following printing.
Samantha Robinson, M.A. Candidate, Department of Art History


Move on to the next stop on the tour!