Innovative Impressions explores an under-examined aspect of three impressionists’ careers: their groundbreaking prints and the new techniques they developed through collaboration and experimentation. In 1879, Mary Cassatt, Edgar Degas, and Camille Pissarro formed the most active core of a group of artists planning a periodical to feature their prints.
Through this collaborative effort they challenged each other to develop a new language of printmaking whose visual and expressive potential went well beyond the traditional reproductive purpose of the medium. Indeed, the intimacy of small-scale works on paper at times spurred the artists to be even more daringly creative than they were in their paintings.
Their interactions and engagement with printmaking varied over time, culminating in the 1890s, when each developed distinctive methods of introducing color into their work. For much of their careers this unlikely trio of artists inspired and challenged each other, and these dynamics played a crucial role in their creative processes.