Publication Announcement: Printoptik by Carl David Ruttan

Maison Kasini announces the publication of Printoptik by Carl David Ruttan.

How do we read the collage work of Carl David Ruttan? Printoptik acts as a lens presenting several points of view on this question. Essays by Mark Grenon, Meaghan Thurston, and Henri Michaud explore the different ways in which the artist uses collage in his work.

Ruttan produces a large body of small art collages while travelling. His source material is bits of found paper collected while walking the streets of lands both foreign and familiar. At home, he blows-up the collage to make a one-of-a-kind fine art print that explores the micro-world of paper.

Ruttan has also taken thousands of photographs of “found collage”: images of layered and torn posters, paints and textures. The processes of street photography, decollage and collage merge to take the reader on a visual journey.

Printoptik is a visual feast. The book is lavishly illustrated with Ruttan’s colourful images. Three critical essays describe Ruttan’s work as reflections on collecting, diary keeping, ripping, tearing, reclaiming, printing, and especially seeing.


About Carl David Ruttan

A consummate traveler, Carl David Ruttan makes collages with graphic ephemera he finds along the way: Chinese cigarette cartons, Indian candy wrappers, torn bits of music posters from the street. Working in a rented room in Berlin, a youth hostel in Switzerland, on the beach in India, or his apartment in Montreal, Ruttan spreads out the fragments and brings the bits and pieces together in composition. When done, he slides the small 3.75” x 2.75” collages into a plastic sleeve. At Atelier Circulaire in Montreal, Ruttan scans them at extremely high resolution, and produces one unique print to accompany the original collage as the final, archivally stable work of art. The final photographic quality digital print creates a convincing tactile optic which the eye perceives as an original collage.

Carl David Ruttan was born in 1976 in Oshawa, Ontario. He studied fine art at the University of Ottawa, completing his Bachelors of Fine Art in 2000. He has traveled extensively in Asia, North America, Europe and on numerous islands of the Caribean and South Pacific. Carl Settled in Montreal in 2001 after his first trip to Asia. Ruttan is an active member of both the printmaking workshop Atelier Circulaire and Montreal artist-run centre Articule.

Like many contemporary artists, Ruttan’s art making practice includes many mediums. He makes small dry-point intaglio and relief prints that offer a unique aesthetic and a simple, accessible style. He takes macro photographs of found objects, urban scenes, and textures of various sorts—paint, plywood, brick—and blows them up. He has maked some sculpture and he paints with acrylic on canvas and wood. Yet, it is in his collage work that the dominant themes of his art practice come together. Multi-layered, texture-rich colour compositions are composed from the colours and images that printed media lay before the artist as he navigates the sea of symbols around him. They are both the vehicle for self-expression, and limiting agent, determining the palette and tiny details of paper quality that will define the final work.

About the Book

The book presents the collage work of Carl David Ruttan. It was launched in conjunction with Ruttan’s solo show, “Trusted Everywhere by Everyone”, exhibited at Galerie Maison Kasini in Montreal, October 19-November 19, 2011. (EXHIBITION DETAILS HERE)  The book contains full-colour images with essays by Meaghan Thurston, Mark Grenon, and Henri Michaud.

About Meaghan Thurston: Meaghan Thurston is the Associate Director of Galerie Maison Kasini. She has published reviews of visual art and culture in The Rover: Montreal Arts Uncovered and an essay on the American photographer Francesca Woodman in Forum: The University of Edinburgh’s Journal of Arts and Culture. Her text and photographs on the site-specific art installations of British artist Katy Bentall are to be published in November 2011 in Onsite Review, Calgary.

About Mark Grenon: A native of Ottawa, Mark Grenon has taught English in the Czech Republic, Taiwan, and Chile. He currently lives in Montreal, where his interests include poetry and poetics, digital photography, and painting.

About Henri Michaud: Coming from a background in black and white film photography, Henri quickly jumped into the digital realm while refusing to surrender the processing of prints to commercial laboratories. He strongly believes that the photographic process does not end when the shutter closes. He has worked for years in the newspaper industry providing photo manipulation services and running pre-press departments.


ISBN 978-0-9878094-1-4
Publisher: Maison Kasini Canada | 2011
Size: 9″x7″
Binding: perfect-bound paperback
66 pages
full colour images
Publication ©2011 Maison Kasini Canada
Images ©2011 Carl David Ruttan
Text ©2011 Mark Grenon, Henri Michaud, Meaghan Thurston, Carl David Ruttan
Book Design by Patsy Hayes

Price: $24.95