Postwar British Prints
June 27 - August 31, 2014
Curated by Jennifer Farrell, Curator of Exhibitions and Contemporary Art with Katelyn Hobbs, Curatorial Assistant
The J. Sanford Miller Family Gallery
This exhibition, drawn from the Museum’s permanent collection, reveals the diversity and strength of printmaking in Great Britain during the postwar period, as well as the myriad influences that impacted artistic production. The exhibition will include a variety of techniques and styles to show the broad range of approaches to subject matter and production. Included are pieces from both artists well known for their graphic work, such as Howard Hodgkin, and those more recognized for work in other media. Many artists in the exhibition collaborated with the influential printmaker Chris Prater at Kelpra Studio, an experience that led to radical technical and aesthetic advances in screenprinting. Others were both artists and publishers, such as Ronald King, who produced artist books for himself and his peers through Circle Press.
Mass culture was a prominent influence for many of the artists in the exhibition, who engaged its materials and images both within their art and in commissioned work, thus blurring the lines between fine and commercial art. Others, however, found inspiration in more traditional sources, such as literature and nature. And, while many artists strove to capture the vitality of contemporary urban life, others focused on depicting landscapes both real and imagined. Abstraction remained a vital force during this period, yet several artists rethought possibilities for non-objective art through their use of bold, contrasting colors and hard-edged geometric forms, which made reference to pop and op art. Others, such as Hodgkin, used the language of gestural abstraction to create what he famously described as “representational pictures of emotional situations.” Many of the figures in the exhibition are well known, while others, key figures in British postwar art, may be less familiar to American audiences. Together, they show the vitality of British printmaking in the postwar period.
The Fralin Museum of Art’s programming is made possible by the generous support of The Joseph and Robert Cornell Memorial Foundation.
The exhibition is made possible through the generous support of Arts$, albemarle Magazine, and Ivy Publications LLC’s Charlottesville Welcome Book.