The Alan Cristea Gallery will be holding a retrospective exhibition of Patrick Caulfield's prints. The works have been selected to represent every aspect of Caulfield's printmaking career and will date from 1967 right through to his latest edition entitled, Les Demoiselles d'Avignon Vues de Derrière.
To coincide with the exhibition, the gallery will be publishing and launching the catalogue raisonné, illustrating and documenting every print he has ever made. This hardback book will be 96 pages long, with 112 colour illustrations and an extensive essay by Mel Gooding.
He completed his first print, Ruins, in 1964 as part of the ground-breaking ICA portfolio in which 24 artists contributed a print made at Kelpra Studios. It was here that Caulfield was to make all of his prints up to 1987 and was typical of a style and approach to printmaking that has dominated his graphic work every since. By distilling elements of still life into their simplest form, in this case abandoned bricks and plant leaves, and by using pure lines and colour, he created an immaculate and instantly recognisable pictorial style.
On the whole the prints are devoid of human content. Instead traces of live, such as a discarded napkin or an empty wine bottle, imply a presence and evoke moods and emotions. Caulfield's illustrations to Jules Laforgue's poems exemplify this approach to printmaking. The images, which appear deceptively simple, perfectly mirror the poet's text. In each case a haunting image captures Laforgue's ironic, and at times melancholy, insights into the banality of mundane, commonplace objects.
The exhibition will also coincide with a retrospective of the artist's paintings at the Hayward Gallery, London.