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Karel Martens: Selected Letterpress Works

When Karel Martens began studying art in Holland in the late 1950s, “graphic design” did not even exist as its own course of study. Today he is widely recognized as one of the most important practitioners of that very discipline, with an esteemed client list that includes major publishers, architects, and institutions. His accolades include the H.N. Werkman Prize (1993) for the design of the architectural journal Oase, the Dr A.H. Heineken Prize for Art (1996), the Gold Medal at the Leipzig Book Fair (1998), and numerous other distinctions. Martens has taught at the Yale School of Art, Jan van Eyck Academie, and co-founded Werkplaats Typografie in 1997. The below selection of Martens’ monoprints includes rare works from the 1950s and 60s. They engage with the technology of letterpress, deliberately misusing the media to create unique prints. Neither commissioned design objects nor autonomous artworks, Martens’ letterpress experiments exist as unique fragments of an ongoing visual process. 
 

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Karel Martens
Untitled, 1958
letterpress monoprint on paper
9 × 11 ⁵⁄₈ in. (229 × 295 mm)

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Karel Martens
Untitled, 1958
letterpress monoprint on paper
9 × 11 ⁵⁄₈ in. (229 × 295 mm)

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Karel Martens
Untitled, 1958
letterpress monoprint on paper
9 × 11 ⁵⁄₈ in. (229 × 296 mm)

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Karel Martens
Untitled, 1963
letterpress monprint on paper
8 ¼ × 11 ¾ in. (209 × 297 mm)

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Karel Martens
Untitled, circa 1992
letterpress monoprint on photocopy
8 ¼ x 11 ⅝ in. (209 x 295 mm)

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Karel Martens
Untitled, circa 1994
letterpress monoprint on paper
13 ¾ × 9 ⁷⁄₈ in. (350 × 250 mm)

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Karel Martens
Untitled, 1994
letterpress monoprint on paper
8 ⁷⁄₈ × 12 ½ in. (225 × 319 mm)

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Karel Martens
Untitled, circa 1995
letterpress monoprint on paper
16 ⁷⁄₈ × 12 in. (428 × 304 mm)

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Karel Martens
Untitled, circa 1995
letterpress monoprint on paper
18 ¹⁄₈ × 11 ³⁄₈ in. (459 × 290 mm)

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Karel Martens
Untitled, circa 1995
letterpress monoprint on paper
17 ¾ × 12 ⁵⁄₈ in. (450 × 320 mm)

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Karel Martens
Untitled, circa 1995
letterpress monoprint on paper
17 ¾ × 12 ⁵⁄₈ in. (450 × 320 mm)

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Karel Martens
Untitled, circa 1995
letterpress monoprint on paper
12 ⁵⁄₈  × 17 ¾ in. (320 × 450 mm)

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Karel Martens
Untitled, circa 1995
letterpress monoprint on photocopy paper
16 ⁷⁄₈  × 11 ⁵⁄₈ in. (430 × 295 mm)

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Karel Martens
Untitled, circa 1995
letterpress monoprint on paper
20 ¹⁄₈ × 15 in. (510 × 380 mm)

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Karel Martens
Untitled, circa 1995
letterpress monoprint on paper
15  × 20 ¹⁄₈ in. (380 × 510 mm)

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Karel Martens
Untitled, 1996 [Maquette for cover of Printed Matter]
letterpress monoprint on thin cardboard
6 ⁷⁄₈ × 9 ⁷⁄₈ in. (173 × 250 mm)

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Karel Martens
Untitled, circa 1995
letterpress monoprint on chocolate packing material
9 ¾ × 7 ³⁄₈ in. (249 × 187mm)

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Karel Martens
Untitled, circa 1995
letterpress monoprint on index card on top of catalogue card Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam
11 ½ x 6 ⅞ in. (292 x 174 mm)

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Karel Martens
Untitled, circa 1995
letterpress monoprint on catalogue card from the Stedeljk Museum Amsterdam,  
artist Gerrit Rietveld
11 ¼ × 7 ⁷⁄₈ in. (285 × 200 mm)

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Karel Martens
Untitled, circa 1991
letterpress monoprint on catalogue card from the Stedeljk Museum Amsterdam,  
artist Gerrit Rietveld
11 ¼ × 7 ⁷⁄₈ in. (285 × 200 mm)

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Karel Martens
Untitled, circa 1991
letterpress monoprint on catalogue card from the Stedeljk Museum Amsterdam,  
artist Beyer
11 ⅜ x 8 in. ( 288 x 205 mm)

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Karel Martens
Untitled, 2006
letterpress monoprint on catalogue card from the Stedeljk Museum Amsterdam,  
artist J. Buys
11 ⅜ x 8 in. ( 288 x 205 mm)

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Karel Martens
Untitled, circa 1991
letterpress monoprint on catalogue card from the Stedeljk Museum Amsterdam
11 ³⁄₈ × 8 ¼ in. (288 × 210 mm)

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Karel Martens
Untitled, circa 1995
letterpress monoprint n catalogue card from the Stedeljk Museum Amsterdam
11 ³⁄₈ × 8 ¼ in. (288 × 210 mm)

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Karel Martens
Untitled, circa 1995
letterpress monoprint on catalogue card from the Stedeljk Museum Amsterdam
11 ³⁄₈ × 8 ¼ in. (288 × 210 mm)

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Karel Martens
Untitled, circa 1991
letterpress monoprint on catalogue card from the Stedeljk Museum Amsterdam
11 ½ × 8 ¼ in. (290 × 210 mm)

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Karel Martens
Untitled, circa 1991
letterpress monoprint on catalogue card from the Stedeljk Museum Amsterdam
11 ½ × 8 ¼ in. (290 × 210 mm)

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Karel Martens
Untitled, circa 1991
letterpress monoprint on catalogue card from the Stedeljk Museum Amsterdam
11 ½ × 8 ¼ in. (290 × 210 mm)

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Karel Martens
Untitled, circa 1991
letterpress monoprint on catalogue card from the Stedeljk Museum Amsterdam
11 ½ × 8 ¼ in. (290 × 210 mm)

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Karel Martens
Untitled, circa 1991
letterpress monoprint on catalogue card from the Stedeljk Museum Amsterdam, artist Richard Long
11 ½ × 8 ¹⁄₈ in. (291 × 205 mm)

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Karel Martens
Untitled, 2006
letterpress monoprint on catalogue card from the Stedeljk Museum Amsterdam, 
artist Quellinus
11 ⁵⁄₈ × 8 ¹⁄₈ in. (294 × 206 mm)

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Karel Martens
Untitled, circa 1991
letterpress monoprint on catalogue card from the Stedeljk Museum Amsterdam, 
artist Hamish Fulton
11 ⁵⁄₈ × 8 ¹⁄₈ in. (294 × 206 mm)

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Karel Martens
Untitled, circa 1991
letterpress monoprint on catalogue card from the Stedeljk Museum Amsterdam, 
artist Jan Dibbets
11 ⁵⁄₈ × 8 ¹⁄₈ in. (294 × 206 mm)

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Karel Martens
Untitled, circa 1991
letterpress monoprint on catalogue card from the Stedeljk Museum Amsterdam
11 ⁵⁄₈ × 8 ¹⁄₈ in. (294 × 206 mm)

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Karel Martens
Untitled, circa 2006
letterpress monoprint on catalogue card from the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam            
11 ¾ × 8 ¼ in. (297 × 210 mm)

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Karel Martens
Untitled, 1991
letterpress monoprint on catalogue card from the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam            
11 ¾ × 8 ¼ in. (297 × 210 mm)

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Karel Martens
Untitled, 2009
letterpress monoprint on a navigation sheet out the ‘Sight Reduction Tables for Air Navigation’, Pub. No. 249 Vol.3
11 ⁵⁄₈ × 9 ¼ in. (295 × 234 mm)

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Karel Martens
Untitled, 1986
letterpress on paper
4 ⅛ × 5 ⅞ in. (105  × 148 mm)
 

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Karel Martens
Untitled, 1998
letterpress on paper
4 ¹⁄₈ × 5 ⁷⁄₈ in. (105 × 150 mm)

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Karel Martens
Untitled, ca 2010
letterpress monoprint on packing material
6 ¼ × 4 ⅛ in. (160 × 105 mm)

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Karel Martens
Untitled, circa 2011
letterpress monoprint on catalogue card printers terms
8 ¼ × 5 ¾ in. (209 × 149 mm)

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Karel Martens
Untitled, circa 2004
letterpress monoprint on catalogue card from the Moravian Museum Brno, Czech Republic
8 ¼ × 5 ¾ in. (209 × 149 mm)

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Karel Martens
Untitled, circa 2012
letterpress monoprint on catalogue card from the Moravian Museum Brno, Czech Republic
8 ¼ x 5 ⅞ in. (209 x 149 mm) 

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Karel Martens
Untitled, circa 2004
letterpress monoprint on catalogue card from the Moravian Museum Brno, Czech Republic
8 ¼ x 5 ⅞ in. (209 x 149 mm)

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Karel Martens
Untitled, circa 2004
letterpress monoprint on catalogue card from the Moravian Museum Brno, Czech Republic
8 ¼ × 5 ¾ in. (209 × 149 mm)

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Karel Martens
Untitled, circa 2005
letterpress monoprint on catalogue card from the Moravian Museum Brno, Czech Republic
8 ¼ × 5 ¾ in. (209 × 149 mm)

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Karel Martens
Untitled, circa 2005
letterpress monoprint on catalogue card from the Moravian Museum Brno, Czech Republic
8 ¼ × 5 ¾ in. (209 × 149 mm)

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Karel Martens
Untitled, circa 2005
letterpress monoprint on catalogue card from the Moravian Museum Brno, Czech Republic
8 ¼ × 5 ¾ in. (209 × 149 mm)

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Karel Martens
Untitled, circa 2005
letterpress monoprint on catalogue card from the Moravian Museum Brno, Czech Republic
8 ¼ × 5 ¾ in. (209 × 149 mm)

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Karel Martens
Untitled, circa 2010
letterpress monoprint on catalogue card from the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam
8 ¼ × 5 ¾ in. (209 × 149 mm)

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Karel Martens
Untitled, 2008
letterpress on paper
6 × 8 ¼ in. (150 × 210 mm)

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Karel Martens
Untitled, 1996
letterpress on paper
6 × 8 ¼ in. (150 × 210 mm)

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Karel Martens
Untitled, circa 2004
letterpress monoprint on paper
12 × 8 ½ in. (305 × 215 mm)

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Karel Martens
Untitled, circa 1994
letterpress monoprint on wax paper
9 ¾ × 13 ¾ in. (249 × 349 mm)

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Karel Martens
Untitled, circa 2004
letterpress monoprint on paper
9 ⁷⁄₈ × 14 ¹⁄₈ in. (252 × 359 mm)

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Karel Martens
Journal of High-Principled Typography , 1989
Letterpress magazine on newsprint, saddle-stitched, 40 pages (self-cover)
9 ⅞ x 12 ¾ in. (closed) 250 x 325 mm (closed)

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Karel Martens
B Zine , 1989
Letterpress pamphlet, saddle-stitched, 8 pages (self-cover)
8 ¼ x 11 ⅝ in. (closed) 210 x 295 mm (closed)

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Karel Martens
Untitled , 1989
Letterpress poster on paper
19 ½  x 27 ½ in. 495 x 698 mm

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    1. Timestamp: Wednesday 2012/10/24 13:02:00