A new exhibition at the Alan Cristea Gallery presents recent print projects by artists including Gillian Ayres, Gordon Cheung, Ian Davenport, Antony Gormley, Idris Khan, David Nash, as well as the last series of prints ever made by Howard Hodgkin.
Several new woodcuts by Gillian Ayres, which are exuberant, vigorous and full of colour and energy, have been produced by an artist at the height of her powers; Ayres recently celebrated her first exhibition in China at the CAFA Art Museum, Beijing which ran concurrently with the largest exhibition to date of her work in the UK at the National Museum Wales, Cardiff. These woodcuts will be shown alongside hand-painted prints by the late Howard Hodgkin, who this year was also celebrated in two major retrospectives, one at the Hepworth Wakefield, Yorkshire and the other at the National Portrait Gallery in London. His final body of printed work includes Blue Evening, Dark Rainbow and A Glass of Red, 2015-16. The synaesthetic quality of these prints was achieved through a highly personal hybrid fusion of printmaking and painting. Joe Tilson also employs hand colouring in his prints. In his most recent series, entitled Stones of Venice, 2016, it is applied to screenprints with carborundum and inkjet. The works refer to the historical architecture in Venice, a place Tilson has been deeply connected with since he first visited Italy in 1955.
Displayed alongside Tilson’s interpretations of Venetian buildings are platinum-palladium prints by Idris Khan depicting architectural landmarks of London including Buckingham Palace and St. Paul’s. Each print is an amalgam of between 70-100 layers of photographs, dating from the 1930’s onwards. Ian Davenport, who is driven by an enduring fascination with the materiality and process of painting and printmaking, has made a series of splatter screenprints, a departure from his signature technique of vertical lines cascading down into puddles of colour. Also in the exhibition are six hand-painted still life prints by Gordon Cheung which relate to the opening lines of Auguries of Innocence, a poem by nineteenth-century poet and artist William Blake, which uses apocalyptic imagery to warn society of the consequences of injustice and corruption.
Sculptors also feature in the exhibition. Antony Gormley has used etching to depict figures that appear bound and constricted. Release I – III, 2016, evokes a state of embodiment and freedom, and encourages the viewer to consider how our physical freedom is increasingly conditioned by the built environment. The natural formations of David Nash’s sculpture, which includes copses grown and manipulated to form domes, and fallen trees which are carved and charred, are reflected in his pastel works, which include Red Column, Black Column, 2015, and Yellow Stack, 2016. Rachel Whiteread uses industrial materials such as plaster, concrete, and resin to cast everyday objects and architectural space, including dolls houses which she has collected for over 30 years. We will exhibit an edition by Rachel Whiteread, Cutlery, 2008, which consists of stainless steel casts of dolls house cutlery.
The Print Project Space presents an ongoing series of displays and exhibitions of prints and editions by the gallery’s roster of international artists.