Print Week, which runs from May 1-8, has been organised by the London Original Print Fair (LOPF) as a temporary replacement for its longstanding indoor event at The Royal Academy (unable to go ahead in its usual early May slot due to restrictions).
More than 35 regular exhibitors at LOPF are participating in Print Week, with galleries from Bermondsey to Hampstead showcasing original prints spanning five centuries of artistic production with an emphasis on Modern and Contemporary.
The central areas of Bloomsbury and Mayfair and St James’s have the greatest concentration of London Week exhibitions and events, which include open days at working print studios.
Henri Matisse (1869-1954), who excelled in print, is central to two exhibitor shows.
In Bermondsey, Eames Fine Art dedicates one of three print spaces to the original lithographs Matisse produced for Florilège des Amours de Ronsard, a publication on the love sonnets by 16th century French poet Pierre de Ronsard.
Matisse spent seven years on the project and produced 126 illustrations in all. A range of the artist’s familiar motifs feature in the show, from portraits of women and graceful dancers to couples embracing and cuckooing birds.
Over in St James’s, Bernard Jacobson Gallery in Duke Street offers a rare 1929 Matisse etching Nu au miroir marocain, from a small, signed edition of 25 and priced at $60,000. Etching allowed Matisse to pare down his nudes to simple lines which, nonetheless, enabled him to capture the essence of his subjects.
Specialist Oxfordshire-based print dealer Elizabeth Harvey-Lee heads to the capital with one of the earliest prints in London Week, a late 16th century engraving by Raphael Sadeler I (c.1560-1632) titled An Allegory of Transitoriness and filled with symbolism on the impermanence of human life. It is priced at £350.
Both Gilden’s Art Gallery and Frederick Mulder, one of LOPF’s founding exhibitors, have a selection of modern master prints which make a trip to Hampstead worthwhile, including a David Hockney (b.1937) etching The Student (Homage to Picasso) priced at £1600 from Gilden’s. Produced in 1973, it shows Hockney himself, portfolio under his arm, contemplating a large head of Picasso mounted on a plinth.
Redfern Gallery in Cork Street holds an exhibition featuring Hockney’s friend Patrick Procktor (1936-2003).
Browse & Darby, also on Cork Street, hosts the Glasgow Print Studio’s selection of prints by two Scottish painter printmakers, Barbara Rae (b.1943) and Elizabeth Blackadder (b.1931).
A mixed-artist show at the Marlborough Gallery in Albemarle Street includes works by Bridget Riley (b.1931) and Grayson Perry (b.1960) with the latter’s Map of Nowhere etching priced at £39,000.
In Bourdon Street, Lyndsey Ingram Gallery explores the concept of print as multiple artwork with Lucy Sparrow’s The Bourdon Street Chemist – a fully stocked chemist installation with each piece hand sewn in felt to celebrate the British high street and local shops.
Abbot and Holder in Museum Street opposite the British Museum offers a couple of works by the 20th century wood engraver Ethelbert White (1891-1972) including The Vale Pond, Hampstead from 1923, made in an edition of 50 and priced at £875.
Contemporary shows in Pall Mall next to Tate Britain include an exhibition of etchings by Georg Baselitz (b.1938) at Cristea Roberts and a range of new work at Long & Ryle by its representative artists including two new monoprints by Hugh Buchanan (b.1958).
In the Bloomsbury ‘hub’, Paul Stolper Gallery is dedicated to the works of Helen Beard (b.1971), an artist working in various disciplines including paint, collage, tapestries, and sculptures.