WHILE print devotees will be flocking to The London Original Print Fair (April 22-25) this week at the Royal Academy’s new space in Burlington Gardens, off Old Bond Street, it should not be forgotten that there are currently a number of other events celebrating the printmaker’s craft.
Despite having been president of the Society of Wood Engravers for 14 years from 1967, Albert Charles Garrett (1915-1983) is perhaps a name known to most collectors of British wood engravings more as the author of A History of British Wood Engravers, published in 1978 by Midas Books and British Wood Engraving of the 20th Century — a personal view (Scolar Books, 1980). However, it is generally forgotten that he was one of the only truly abstract wood engravers of his generation, and until the end of the month Wolseley Fine Arts of Needham Road, Notting Hill, London rediscover Garrett’s work via a showing of over 60 etchings (£250-750) and wood engravings (£250-2200).
Demonstrating his fascination with the treatment of light, Garrett’s rhythmic compositions were clearly influenced by pre- and post-war printmaking developments on the Continent, where, in fact, he found most recognition, the British market at the time finding the work just too avant garde.
Accompanied by an informative 40-page catalogue (£7.50), the exhibition covers Garrett’s work from 1948 with images such as Bird Forms (£275) and Abstract Composition No. 2 (£325), through to Dance of the Black Spectrum (£800), which dates to 1980-1.
Looking ahead to next week, the Royal Society of Painter-Printmakers’ Annual Exhibition opens on April 29 at the recently refurbished Bankside Gallery, next to Tate Modern. Running through to May 23, this event is of particular interest as it showcases prints by the indomitable storyteller Paula Rego (b. 1935), an honorary member of the society. Included will be her acclaimed Jane Eyre lithographs, Peter Pan etchings and aquatints, and the 2002 lithograph The Wide Sargasso Sea.
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