New exhibition of Collectable 20th Century British Art opens in the Gallery on Friday 26th April. Including work by some of the most important british artists of the second half of the 20th Century, including David Hockney, Frank Auerbach, Peter Blake, Patrick Procktor, Sandra Blow, Donald Hamilton Fraser and Barry Flanagan.
One of the highlights of the exhibition will be the Chelsea Arts Club centenary portfolio. In 1991 the Chelsea Arts Club commissioned sixteen of its leading members to produce a portfolio of limited edition screenprints, which are becoming ever more sought after today.
Many of the works in the exhibition are limited edition prints. At one level these can be quite affordable but still highly collectable. If you are thinking of starting a collection, buying prints can be a good way to start.
Here is some information on the printmaking techniques which can be found in the gallery exhibition.Woodcut
Woodcut is one of the oldest and simplest forms of printmaking. Various implements (both hand tools and power tools) can be used to cut the image into a block of wood. Paper is placed over the inked block and rubbed by hand or passed through a press to transfer the ink from block to paper to create the image.
Woodcut prints and illustrations were first popularized in China in the 9th century and spread to Europe in the 14th century where they became a popular medium for the mass distribution of religious and instructive imagery
The linoblock consists of a layer of linoleum, usually mounted on a block of wood. This soft material is easily carved using knives and gouges. The image is then printed as with a woodcut. Anita Klein makes the most beautiful linocuts of her life and family.
As with engraving, this is a process in which marks are made on a plate using a sharp, pointed instrument. Unlike engraving, in which small amounts of metal are completely removed as the lines are incised, drypoint is characterized by the curl of displaced metal, called the burr, which forms as the line is cut. When inked, the burr creates a distinctive velvety appearance. This technique is usually done on soft copper plates. As the edition is printed, the burr becomes flattened and less distinct.
This process uses acid to bite an image into a metal plate that is coated with an acid-resistant ground. A sharp needle is used to scratch the image through the ground, exposing the metal. The plate is then immersed in an acid bath where the drawn marks are etched. The characteristics of the marks produced depend on the tool used to draw the image, the type of ground coating the plate and the length of time the plate is etched in the acid bath. Etching and Aquatint and often used together
Aquatint is an etching method introduced in the mid-17th Century to create a more subtle tonal range than could be achieved with line etching techniques. Powdered rosin is applied and heated onto a metal plate; the metal that remains exposed around the melted drops of rosin is bitten in an acid bath, creating a pitted, grainy surface. These pits hold ink and print as areas of tone. The longer the plate is left in the acid, the deeper the “bite” and darker it will print. Shapes are defined by painting on an acid-resistant “stop-out” to prevent surrounding areas from being bitten. A plate may be bitten several times for a range of tones.
The name lithography comes from the Greek words lithos meaning ‘stone’ and graphein ‘to write.’ Lithography is a chemical process invented in the late 18th century and based on the antipathy of grease and water. The image is drawn on a smooth stone or plate using greasy pencils, crayons, tusche, lacquer, or synthetic materials, or sometimes by means of a photochemical or transfer process. After the image is drawn and processed with a mild etching solution, the stone or plate is dampened and ink is applied with a roller. The greasy drawn image repels the water and holds the oily ink while the rest of the stone’s surface does the opposite. Printing is accomplished in a press similar to that used in intaglio processes.
Screenprint (Serigraph, Silkscreen)
A stencil is adhered to a material, often silk, and stretched tightly over a frame. The image areas are open fabric through which ink or paint is forced with a squeegee. Screenprints can be made onto almost any material.
The key characteristic of a monoprint or monotype is that no two prints are identical, though many of the same elements may be present. All or part of a monoprint is created from a matrix, etched plate, woodblock or such, whereas a monotype image is painted directly onto a smooth unaltered plate and then transferred to paper in a press. These prints are sometimes hand-colored after they are printed.
The gallery on the Hampshire/Surrey boarder is near Farnham, Fleet and Ascot has plenty of free parking and is just two minutes from Junction 5 of the M3, next to the award winning Newlyns Farm Shop and Café.