17 November - 23 December 1999

Five Years of Print Publishing

    Since opening in 1995, the Alan Cristea Gallery has published the graphic work of some of the most important British and international contemporary artists. The anniversary exhibition will show a selection of prints from these first five years.

    In 1995 Howard Hodgkin produced the classic series of prints Venetian Views. As a response to Thomas Mann's Death in Venice, Hodgkin produced a series of four images based on the city at different times of day. Printed by Jack Sheriff onto sixteen panels, each piece is a feat of printmaking, combining layer upon layer of etching, aquatint and hand colouring.

    Since this initial project, the gallery has worked on a huge variety of projects, sometimes publishing over 50 editions a year. Working with a range of artists as diverse as Gillian Ayres and Richard Hamilton, each requires a unique insight into the artist's needs. Hamilton, arguably the most important living British artist, has been making prints since 1939 and it still using techniques and images that challenge the medium's boundaries. His new prints involve complex computer packages and rely on the latest digital printing methods and inks.

    In contrast, an artist such as Ian McKeever has come to printmaking relatively recently. Following his first etching project, McKeever produced a series of ninety-six woodcut monoprints. Each intimately explores the woodcut medium, producing texture and colours which have since fed back into his paintings.

    There is also a younger generation of artists for whom printmaking is becoming an important medium. The gallery has worked with Lisa Milroy on a number of projects and has recently published the first graphic work of Julian Opie and Ben Langlands & Nikki Bell.

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