The excellent Daniel Grant asks why we care about an artist’s signature on a print. After all, the real work of print-making is rarely done by the artist:
Many artists and dealers contend that by signing a print the artist approves and endorses it, and, implicitly, claims it as his or her own work. However, in most cases, artists have no more involvement in the technical processes of printmaking than simply tiring out their arms signing the finished works.
In some cases, the entire economic value of a print is in the signature. Salvador Dali and Marc Chagall both signed blank pieces of paper on which reproductions of their most famous works were to be made. Picasso’s granddaughter, Marina, published a series of the artist’s prints to which she signed her name (her signature, it was said, looked remarkably like Picasso’s). In all of these instance, the artists never saw the finished prints but, still, the prints sell at prices that lead one to assume they are original works of art in some way.
The rest of the article breaks down the various processes by which multiples are made and discusses the relative input of the artist to resulting work.
What’s the Value of a Signature on an Art Print? (Huffington Post)