It’s always a thrill to see the work of artists we strongly associate with one medium’s work in one that’s quite different; hence our excitement at the new show at London’s Marlborough Gallery, Two Decades: British Printmaking in the 1960s and 1970s. We’re likely all familiar with the sumptuous forms of Henry Moore’s sculptures, but not so aware of his delightfully expressive print works. These show similarly elegant human forms, though augmented with swathes of bright colour and primitive lifework.
Similarly, we’ve all seen that cheeky, smutty po-mo furniture from Allen Jones; but it’s a treat to see the surrealist-leaning photography he created, too. His collages remain true to form - tits and ass abound - and the gridded arrangements of titillation and cartoons are a joy.
“In the 1950’s printmaking in the UK experienced a revival, and over three decades British artists across two generations sought to expand their practice by working in print,” the gallery explains. “Developments in etching, lithography and screenprint flourished with the development of dedicated print studios such as Curwen Press, one of the first where artists had freedom to really explore printmaking.
“Printmaking in the 1960s and 1970s was a critical development in each of these artists oeuvre; by allowing for experimentation and innovation it became a vital part of their practice.”
Among the other featured artists are R.B. Kitaj, Victor Pasmore, John Piper, Graham Sutherland and Joe Tilson. In a similar vein to Moore’s pieces, the prints by Barbara Hepworth act as beautiful ally to her more famous sculptural works. The forms translate perfectly to two dimensions, and the autumnal colours are as warm and inviting as we could ever wish for in this depressingly chilly winter.
Two Decades: British Printmaking in the 1960s and 1970s runs until 6 January 2018 at Marlborough Fine Art 6 Albemarle Street, London W1S 4BY.