How Otto Neumann Created Monotypes

Otto Neumann created his monotypes using a variety of materials on which to spread his inks, though his great favorite in the last decade or so of his long career was a sheet of glass. No matter what the material of the plate was, he spread his inks on it. Then, he placed the paper face down on the inked plate. He then drew on the back of the paper to create lines and forms on the surface, as well as pressing on the back of the paper with a tool or his fingers, to force the inks away from some areas.

Neumann often made drawings that he could then trace onto the back of the paper to transfer the design to the front. The visibility of the pencil or chalk line on the back of the monotype indicates that he drew directly on the paper and the lack of them suggests that tracing was the method used.

Dr. David Sokol, Curator, The Otto Neumann Collection

Professor Emeritus, University of Illinois at Chicago