Monday, May 4, 2015

The Art of the Signature

Thanks to Kay Wallace, who alerted me to a link that she found on the Facebook page of Carolyn Dube to a thought-provoking blog post from Sue on her blog Irreversibly Moi about artists signing their work (did you follow that?).

The read got me to thinking about a post on my blog from 2011 that I thought was worth a repost.

Sign Language

To sign or not to sign. That is the question. For many artists, signing their work is a question of pride, integrity, and ownership. For other artists, a signature is like a period; a statement that the piece of art is completed. There are some major artists that sign all their work, usually in the bottom right corner. Their signature becomes an integral part of the artwork. Some artists seem to sign some works and not others. And there are artists that never seem to sign their work at all. My choice has been to sign all my work, but on the reverse side for 2-dimensional pieces and on the underside for assemblage and sculpture. How many of you sign your work? How many do not? And where? And why?

Jackson Pollock

Roy Lichtenstein

Robert Motherwell

Jasper Johns

Alexander Calder


Willem De Kooning

Andy Warhol

Franz Kline

Robert Rauschenberg

Jean Dubuffet


Beanie Mouse said...

Absolutely sign your work. I sign bottom right on the front unless it's a seriously crap painting that's destined for the collage bin!!!!! (AKA the scrap heap!)

patti said...

I sign mine on the back but feel I am invisible because of this. However I think that signing on the front interferes with the artwork! A timely post, I was only thinking about this the other day. Keen to hear what others think.

Lisa at Greenbow said...

I sign mine when I remember to do so. I have had people ask me to sign works that I had forgotten to sign. I try to do it for I think it does say who did it.

Long ago an artist told me not to date it because if a work didn't sell right away it might take away from another buyers esteem for a work that had been overlooked in the past. I like a date on a work so I can remember when I did it.

Jen Worden said...

yep. I sign. right hand bottom for 2d-work and on the right hand bottom "side" for 3d.

I also don't put a date w/my signature for much the same reason as Lisa Greenbow mentioned.

However for most of my stuff (when I don't forget!) I create a label for the back with title, date, my name printed and website and sign again.

Covering all bases - it's a Good Thing. ;)

Annie said...

I always sign my work and date it.
Where I sign depends on the piece, I like the signature to blend in with the painting. Sometimes I only sign the back of the piece, but there is always a signature, date and title. xoxo

Jo Murray said...

My paintings are always signed before they have left my studio. Always on the bottom, right or left, depending on the painting. ATCs are rarely signed, tho' sometimes I initial them. Other stuff....hmmm....crafty stuff,, yes.

Zom said...

I sign small work on the back so it won't interfere. Larger works seem to handle it. I don't want to date my work, but I usually do.

jinxxxygirl said...

i sign mine with my initials....and the year...i think my full signature looks out of pace on a piece...

janice pd said...

Yes, signing is important because I think it says you value your work and deserve the recognition. How do you make a name if nobody sees it on your work? A habit from school is to sign paintings on the front but worked as an element to not distract. With fiber my name is also worked into the front. Both are signed again on the back and dated when they leave for a new home.

Carolyn Dube said...

Thanks for showing all these signatures together - so much thought goes into art right down to the signature!

Dayna Collins said...

I am proud of my work, but I have chosen to sign and date my pieces on the back. Early on when I experimented with signing my work on the front, I felt it took away from the art I had created - my eye was drawn to my signature rather than focusing on the art itself.

Carol Harlan said...

My signature becomes a piece of my art. I sign in different places but always on the front.