5 January - 6 February 1999

Signature Pieces

Contemporary British Prints and Multiples

    In every successful artist's work, there are certain images which capture the public imagination. These images become inextricably linked with their authors and come to mind whenever the artist's name is mentioned. They become 'signature pieces'. The Alan Cristea Gallery will be holding a group exhibition consisting of nineteen works by nineteen different artists, both abstract and figurative, that fall under this heading.

    The artists are Joe Tilson, Peter Blake, Allen Jones, Richard Hamilton, Colin Self, Malcolm Morley, Patrick Caulfield, Hamish Fulton, Rachel Whiteread, Simon Patterson, Gavin Turk, Lisa Milroy, Gary Hume, Michael Craig-Martin, Sean Scully, Langlands & Bell and Julian Opie.

    The images have become signature pieces either through their repeated exposure or through the instantly recognisable sources from which they are drawn. Sean Scully's striking linear compositions could only belong to him, just as a shimmering Californian Pool is synonymous with David Hockney.

    In many cases the very fact that the images exist in editioned form constitutes the reason for their iconic status. Richard Hamilton's Fashion Plate is the distillation of twelve separate canvases band yet it is through the lithograph that the image has become so famous. In a different way Simon Patterson, by appropriating the London Underground map in his Great Bear, has created a new and ironic version of an image which is familiar to millions and an intrinsic part of London life.

    The work of a generation of younger British artists including Gavin Turk, Rachel Whiteread and Julian Opie will be shown alongside that of Allen Jones, Joe Tilson, Howard Hodgkin and Hamish Fulton and in each case the presentation of a single picture will demonstrate the extent to which their images have entered the public consciousness.

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