With Space in Mind
This exhibition brings together works on paper by nine sculptors. The prints on display, across both gallery spaces, explore the interplay between the two-dimensional and three-dimensional, and include works that directly reference sculpture, or explore the physical process of making a print. All these artists are best known for their sculpture and their approach to printmaking is unique: it's physical, it's tactile, it's about process and material, object as well as image. The exhibition includes etching and aquatint, lithography, stencil, carborundum relief, photogravure and woodcut.
Many sculptors use the process of printmaking to expand upon the forms and ideas that drive their sculptural work. Richard Deacon's series of monoprints started out as drawings he made when he was in Bamako, Mali, which were used as the pattern for printing blocks. Each monoprint is a combination of 2,3, or 4 blocks, sharing a line or a corner. They are two dimensional representations of line and form in space. They refer to sculpture he has made in both ceramic and stainless steel of skeletal blocks which share a common face. Mimmo Paladino's Miraggi relate to a joint exhibition he did in Rome with the artist Sol LeWitt. His prints often depict his own sculptural forms of the human figure.
Antony Gormley is known for using his own body as a starting point and subject in his sculpture. Field, Space and Floor are lithographs which were made in Copenhagen in 2007 and reference both his drawings and earlier sculptural series. Rachel Whiteread has made prints which recall the casting methods and materials that are commonly used in her sculptures. 12 Objects, 12 Etchings from 2010 are prints of objects she has salvaged over the years. This contemporary cabinet of curiosities depicts objects which are instantly recognisable or almost unidentifiable; a cast of a swimming cap; a ceramic jelly mould; a cluster of rusted molten iron and a bronze cast of the artist's ear.
Found objects also feature in the prints of Cornelia Parker, who has made photogravures of glass negatives from the 1960s which she bought on Brick Lane market twenty years ago. The images are silver objects taken for an auction catalogue and Parker has left them sitting in their glassine bags, to draw attention to the fact they are objects and not just images of objects. The series is called Thirty Pieces of Silver (Exposed), referencing an earlier sculptural work which was made by squashing the precious metal itself. She views these prints as a different kind of flattening.
Often sculptors use printmaking as an extension of their sculptural practice. Eduardo Chillida cuts the etching plates themselves before printing them; David Nash cuts out stencils of his encyclopaedia of sculptural forms which he then colours by hand using pastel. Richard Long applies the carborundum paste, used to make his prints, directly onto the plates by hand, thereby replicating the process he uses to make his mud drawings. Richard Serra is interested in the surface quality of his prints. He pushes his two dimensional works to sculptural extremes, using both material and movement to exaggerate a print's physical surface.