4 December 1996 - 18 January 1997

Colour Etching

Jim Dine, Robert Motherwell, Howard Hodgkin, Mimmo Paladino, John Hoyland and Joe Tilson

    Each of the artists in this exhibition, Jim Dine, Robert Motherwell, Howard Hodgkin, Mimmo Paladino, John Hoyland and Joe Tilson, demonstrate a slightly different approach to colour etching, but are united by the sheer richness of colour that has been achieved.

    Etching, traditionally perceived as a black and white medium, remained largely monochrome until as late as the 1960's. When the essential characteristics of the medium were finally reassessed, the colour introduced, the results exhibited an intensity of colour that was simply unmatched by any other medium.

    Jim Dine and Mimmo Paladino, both extremely accomplished printmakers, will instinctively turn to etching when they want resonating colour, of full chromatic intensity. Howard Hodgkin has spoken of "the immediacy" that he seeks, and it is through colour etching - combined with hand painted elements - that he effectuated this search.

    John Hoyland sumptuously explodes colour until the surface becomes animated and tactile; and Motherwell, a pivotal influence on Hoyland, would search tirelessly for an 'absolute' colour, obsessively discarding works until he achieved the vibrancy of a perfectly pitched musical note.

    Joe Tilson, for a time employing muted, earthly colours for his study of the elements, has since explored  more brilliant hues, elevated by the potential that etching holds for producing these vibrant, luminous colours.

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