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Oct. 31, 2011

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Lovers of fine art prints! It's time for the annual print collectors' rendezvous at the Park Avenue Armory, where more than 6,000 visitors and 90 dealers convene for the International Fine Print Dealers Association Print Fair, Nov. 3-6, 2011. The medium doesn't change, but the styles of works on view sprawl from German Expressionism to Japanese ukiyo-e, and date as far back as the 16th century.

The list of exhibitors -- always association members -- has six newcomers this year: Harris Schrank Fine Prints and Harlan & Weaver, Inc., both of New York, Dublin's Stoney Road Press, London's Emanuel von Baeyer, Germany's Galerie Sabine Knust and Barcelona's Polígrafa Obra Gráfica.

The typically lower price points of prints and editions tend to open this fair up to collectors of all means. And there's always plenty of contemporary works by younger artists, such as a delicately stenciled screenprint of a tank by 33-year-old British artist Mark Hayward at Pratt Contemporary and prints by marquetry artist Alison Elizabeth Taylor at Durham Press.

Then again, there's never a shortage of blue-chip artists and big-name galleries. (Last year, an Edvard Munch print sold for seven figures.) At the upcoming edition, there's a lithograph of George Bellows boxers, A Stag at Sharkey's (1917) at Aaron Galleries' booth, a rare linocut portrait of Picasso's wife, Jacqueline Lisant, de Trois Quarts (1962) at London's Frederick Mulder Limited, minimalist woodcuts and lithographs by Donald Judd and Ellsworth Kelly at New York's Susan Sheehan Gallery and an aquatint etching by Francis Bacon at Marlborough Graphics.

The fair might prove overwhelming enough, but there's also a full calendar of related programming for more energetic art lovers. Visitors can register beforehand for a collector and curator breakfast on Thursday morning, ahead of the fair's official opening at noon. And on Saturday, take an artist-led tour with Jane Hammond, Polly Apfelbaum, Anton Würth or James Siena. Tours are free for ticketholders who register in advance. Plus, a panel on the principles of print collecting is scheduled, as is a discussion with Museum of Modern Art prints and illustrated books curator Christophe Cherix.

Admission to the fair is $20 daily or included with a $75 ticket to the opening night preview on Nov. 2, 2011, from 6:30-9:00 p.m.

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