Cone Editions is the studio that originated digital printmaking and is where fine black & white photographic inkjet printing was invented. We’ve been digital printmakers longer than anyone else on this planet. Jon and Cathy Cone founded Cone Editions Press in 1980 and transitioned into digital as early as 1984. We have produced some of the most important exhibitions of our time, and continue to work with photographers and fine artists all over the world . . .
Some of our clients . . . .
Jim Kempner Fine Art
Annu palakunnathu Matthew
Space Telescope Science Institute
Ralph Eugene Meatyard
Cone Editions Press is now located in the rural village of East Topsham, Vermont. However, it was founded in 1980 in Port Chester, NY as an experimental, collaborative printmaking workshop by Jon and Cathy Cone. With an interest in painterly abstraction, the Cones invited painters associated with the 1950’s New York School including Norman Bluhm, Stanley Boxer, Lester Johnson and Wolf Kahn to collaborate with them in experimental printmaking using screenprint, intaglio, and monoprint.
In 1983, Cone began to include collaborations with artists of his own generation. Many younger painters made prints at the Port Chester, NY studio including Emily Cheng, Lydia Dona, Willy Heeks, David Humphrey, David Kapp, Archie Rand and Carole Seborovski. The studio’s early emphasis was on direct techniques including hand drawn screenprints using crayons and resists developed by Jon Cone, and aquatint photogravures from hand drawn and painted mylars, and monoprint.
In 1984 Jon Cone began experimenting with computers and printmaking. Cone considered these early experiments as an adjunct to the direct printmaking produced in the studio. One of the earliest collaborations with Joel Fisher produced temporal works in which the artist’s drawings were digitized with an early prototype scanner and transformed by Cone into sound files which were edited with the artist’s ears through a software produced in HyperCard by Cone. Ultimately, Cone and Fisher would produce unique computer derived screenprints from these sound files, as well as unique etchings produced from code written by Cone based on an anagram by Joel Fisher.
In 1985, the studio added aquatint photogravure etching, which permitted artists to start etchings from hand drawn and hand painted mylars. In 1986, the studio began including relief printing. Three highly popular relief print projects included Stanley Boxer’s intaglio wiped woodcarved monoprints, Lester Johnson’s Man in Woodcut 1953-1957 (printed for the first time in 1985) portfolio, and the monumental sized Potato Prints Series with Archie Rand.
David Humphrey and Jon Cone collaborated in 1986 on the first of more than 14 years of digital projects in which they would combine computers with non-traditional printmaking. Humphrey used drawing and painting software to produce photo-etchings. Humphrey and Cone produced an elaborate digital collaboration in 1990 in which a grotesquely Orwellian use of technology enhanced personal memories scanned form the artist’s family album. The results were monoprints printed from digitally screenprinted oil paint on plexiglass. Cone and Humphrey eventually collaborated on the Milk Series in which elaborate still lives composed and immersed in milk by the artist were scanned on the studio’s newest equipment, a custom built 40″x60″ direct scanner.
Cone Editions Gallery opened at 560 Broadway in NYC’s SoHo art district in 1987 with a show of 8 large scale Poem Prints by painter Norman Bluhm and poet John Yau. Ultimately, the gallery would show the works of more than 20 artists published by Cone Editions since 1982, including the digital printmaking exhibition, The Proof.
In 1990, Cone Editions relocated to the small, rural village of East Topsham, Vermont and dedicated itself to the development of digital printmaking. Cone built a separate 4200 square foot post and beam studio with private artist’s quarters. Initially the studio combined digital imaging with screenprint, photogravure, relief print and monoprint. In 1992, Cone Editions acquired its first IRIS 3047 printer, an ink jet printer which would ultimately prove to be very malleable in the hands of Cone. Melissa Meyer was the first invited artist to produce prints with this new large direct digital printer. The project consisted of IRIS printed “grounds” of high resolution drum scans of the artist’s recent paintings, on which Meyer over-printed as many as 12 additional screenprinted colors from hand painted mylars.
Cone has been developing digital methodologies and workflow which have enabled scores of photographers, imagers, digital service providers, and teachers to embrace the latest technologies with confidence and skill. Considered to be the first pioneer of digital printmaking, Cone later went on to become IRIS Graphics Development and Marketing Partner for fine arts in the early 1990s, training an entire generation of Giclée printers including David Adamson, Laumont Editions, MuseX Editions, Urban Digital Color, Jamie Cook, Mike Hunter, Donald Saff’s SaffTech, Robert Rauschenberg’s Untitled Press, and many others. Ultimately, Cone Editions would develop a unique IRIS methodology and a series of hardware interfaces, software and archival ink sets. Cone’s software and inks set up a whole new generation of printmakers, as the IRIS fine art print studio era was born.
In the late 1990s Cone turned his attention to developing inks and software for and facilitating process and workflow with EPSON inkjet printers. With Cone’s guidance, software and inks, digital printmaking became accessible to the latest generation of digital printmakers. A whole new Black and White generation is successfully using Cone’s latest innovative products: Piezography® brand software and inks for EPSON printers. His Piezography inks have revolutionized traditional darkroom printing just as his IRIS software and archival inks revolutionized the fine art printmaking industry in the early1990s.
Since 1984, Cone Editions Press has been producing some of the most innovative digital photographic projects in the world. Five pivotal exhibitions in 1997/1998 launched inkjet printing into the public’s eye as a valid photographic medium. David Humphrey’s suite of digital inkjet prints utilizing large formt scanning played an important role in “(re) Mediation: The Digital in Contemporary American Printmaking” which was the United States winning entry in the prestigious 6th annual Biennial of Graphic Art in Ljubljana, Slovenia. Washington D.C.’s The Corcoran Gallery of Art launched the Gordon Parks Retrospective, “Half Past Autumn” in 1998, and which is still touring the nation. The color prints were produced at Cone Editions Press with the IRIS Giclée process. Diana Michener’s extraordinary “Solitaire” exhibition at Pace MacGill Gallery in 1997 was produced with a one-off IRIS DigitalPlatinum monochromatic process on thin sheets of Japanese hand made Washi paper. Richard Avedon’s “In Memory of the Late Mr. and Mrs. Comfort”, a fashion portfolio photographed and created for The New Yorker, November 6, 1995 issue was painstakingly reproduced as a limited edition IRIS portfolio in 1997 & 1998 from the original transparencies. The Painted Photograph at the Real Gallery in NYC highlighted several photographic hybrid process from Cone Editions. Bill Jones, editor of ArtByte Magazine wrote the catalogue essay.
Altoon Sultan: Red Line, 2012. We have been working with Altoon for since 1995. This particular project included our overhead scanner under which Altoon built montages from materials she brought to our studio.
Zana Briski: We have been working with Zana for several years producing IRIS prints as late as 2011 and now concentrating on Piezography printing and our extreme printmaking on thick hand made papers up to 60″.
Jonathan Singer: Botanica Magnifica, 2009. An IRIS Print project of epic proportions. Five extra-large “double-elephant” format, lavishly hand-bound volumes printed for and permanently housed in the Cullman Rare Book Room at the Smithsonian.
Gregory Colbert: The Ashes and Snow nomadic museum exhibitions in Santa Fe, Tokyo and Mexico City were printed by Jon Cone from 2005 – 2008. Using a combination of JonCone Studio and Piezography inks on handmade papers up to 94″ x 186″, these prints were viewed by more than 13 million people making it the most viewed exhibition in history.
Inkjet prototyping lab at Cone Editions Press in 2001.
Diana Michener: Introduced to Cone through Jim Dine (an Ohio University alumnus where Cone attended), Diana Michener worked in residence at Cone Editions in 1996-1997 to produce the extremely delicate and powerful Solitaire suite of IRIS prints produced using the first of Cone’s quadblack inkjet inventions, Digital Platinum for IRIS. Printed on impossibly thin Japanese papers and exhibited at Pace-Magill Gallery that year.
Jon Cone’s first quad-black inkjet system was developed for the IRIS 3047 printer in 1995. DigitalPlatinum when used in collaboration with Carl Weese was able to produce prints which mimicked the Ziatype printing-out-process. The split-tone evident in this print moves from silvery cool highlights into chocolate brown shadows. DigitalPlatinum predates Cone’s well known Piezography products by 5 years, yet printed without visible dots.
Janet Fish: Tropical Still Life, 1992. 30 color silkscreen from hand drawn and painted screen stencils by the artist.
David Humphrey: Family, 1991. A monoprint pulled from a computer generated oil paint printing matrix that had been silkscreened onto plexiglass, disturbed by the artist with solvents and pigments prior to transferring the oil paint to paper through an etching press.
Joel Fisher: Mountain Scan, 1988. Digital aquatint etching, derived from fifteen 4″x4″ copper plates.
David Humphrey, Lies. 1987. Photogravure from hand painted mylar with spit-bite etching and silkscreen.
David Kapp: Oncoming Car, 1985. A silkscreen print produced using a painting “tusche” created by Jon Cone for the artist to work directly on the silkscreen fabric.
Jon Cone in 1981 at the silkscreen table in the Port Chester, NY studio.
Sharon Harper: Moon Studies and star Scratches, Rincon, P.R., 2006. Printed for BOMB Magazine. Piezography Carbon inks printed at Cone Editions Press.
Ivan Chermayeff working in the artist/intaglio studio at Cone Editions Press in 1999.
Four IRIS 3047 printers at Cone Editions Press in 1997.
David Humphrey and Jon Cone at Cone-Laumont Editions posing in front of one of two IRIS 3047 printers, about 1995.
Gordon Parks: Leaf Moon, 1995 from the Half Past Autumn retrospective exhibition in 1997 at the Corcoran Gallery, Washington D.C. Printed with ConeTech WGFA inks at Cone Editions Press in 1994. Cone and Parks collaborated for more than a year on this special project. Cone was working with Alias Eclipse on an SGI workstation.
Janet Fish and Jon Cone proofing a 20 color silkscreen print in the new Cone Editions Studio, Topsham, Vermont. 1991.
Stanley Boxer: Teaseuponagrassland, 1989, Color monoprint from wood block. From a series of large scale birch woodblocks carved by the artist and proofed at Cone Editions in 1988 – but printed at Smith Andersen Editions during the time Cone Editions moved from Port Chester, NY to East Topsham, VT.
Archie Rand Assimilation, 1988, Edition of 5, potato print, 50″ x 75″
Archie Rand next to Jon Cone while inking Assimilation, 1987. One of more than 100 unique large scale Potato Prints produced in collaboration during four 96 hour printmaking sessions.
Wolf Kahn: Kentucky Barn, 1985. A series of more than 30 unique variations on a theme printed in silkscreen in up to 15 colors. All screens were drawn on directly by the artist using silkscreen “pastels” developed and manufactured by Jon Cone.
Developing unique process in a private studio at Cone Editions Press in 2005 for Gregory Colbert. A 64″ Roland printer was outfitted with 12 different inks. Ink formulation in the lab – immediate proofing – resulting in rapid autographic printmaking development.
Jean-Pierre Hebert, plotted IRIS print from hand-made software of the artist. 1998 while in residence at Cone Editions Press.
Yasumasa Morimura: Self-Portrait – Sharaku (Self after Yadorigi), 1996. One of four woodcut, photogravure, and IRIS print on Japanese paper. Published by and in collaboration with Yoshi Sigoshi of Editions Works, Tokyo.
Richard Avedon: from the In Memory of Mr & Mrs Comfort portfolio produced with ConeTech WGFA inks as an IRIS print series. Editon of 18. Printed at Cone Editions Press, 1997-1998. Ink development for this project begain in 1994. Cone and Avedon collaborated for several years on this special project.
Emily Cheng: Madonna, 1991. Canon digital pigment, acetone-solvent transfer with silkscreen from hand cut paper stencils.
WILLY HEEKS: Affirming Flame,1988. Color etching, drypoint and screenprint.
Norman Bluhm and John Yau collaborating with Jon Cone during the making of the Poem Prints, 1987.
Carol Seborovski: Three Black Bars, 1986. An aquatint photogravure made from from hand drawn tissues by the artist.
Lester Johnson: Gold Series 3, 1984. Hand drawn silkscreen in three colors using crayons and screen-resist developed by Jon Cone. Printed at Cone Editions for the Atelier Project of SUNY at Purchase.