Printmaking is a time-honoured technique, and a key approach recognised throughout the history of art. Looking to the future of the medium, the third edition of Woolwich Contemporary Print Fair – opening this month – is a celebration of contemporary printmaking, offering innovative pieces from both emerging and established names including Gary Hume, Tracey Emin and Langlands and Bell.
The event presents a curated selection of over 500 artworks from international artists, spanning work from Turkey and Iran to Canada and the USA whilst welcoming galleries and institutions including Royal Academy of Arts. Taking place at the former Artillery Museum in the Royal Arsenal, London, it highlights a range of approaches including intaglio, relief, stencil and lithograph, celebrating established techniques whilst reinventing them for the digital age.
For example, Daisy Billowes’ digitally printed works emphasise the relationship between physical and technological realms, offering a tactility and depth through layering of archival paper and aluminium. In a similar way, Elizabeth Wilson’s experimental screen prints examine the transformations that occur when industrial monuments are removed from context and re-calibrated through new technologies.
Exploring further socio-political themes is Jemma Gunning, whose etchings explore the degeneration of urban landscapes, representing the loss of historical and cultural structures. The built environment is also the subject of Marine Lefebvre’s analogue prints, sculptures and installations, depicting personal utopian spaces through a bold use of colour and form.
Bright hues are also employed by Aesthetica Art Prize finalist Frea Buckler, whose unique works are featured at the event. The pieces result from an intuitive use of silkscreen techniques, playing with illusion and perception by appearing three-dimensional rather than flat. Colourful geometric forms interlock and offer visual dialogues, representing processes rather than simple objects.
Woolwich Contemporary Print Fair runs 22-25 November. Find out more here.
1. Marine Lefebvre, As if it could escape, Monoprint on paper, 90 x 130.