London Original Print Fair Proves Prints Are Now The New Painting

Claude Flight

With prices like the Grosvenor School prints reach the vanishing point

The 27th London Original Print Fair opened its doors yesterday with over fifty exhibitors showing works with prices ranging from £100 to £100,000.  All the most reputable dealers were in evidence such as Austin Desmond, Alan Cristea, The Fine Art Society, Flowers (Editions), Marlborough Graphics, The Redfern Gallery and the household names being exhibited were endless.  Prints in theory are a good way to purchase original works of art by well-known artists at an affordable price but these days the money needed to start a collection is more likely to be in the thousands rather than hundreds.

The first evening was dedicated to the 80th birthday celebrations of Peter Blake where he gave a special ‘in conversation’ talk about his career and longstanding dedication to printmaking.  CCA Galleries are showing a mini retrospective of Blake’s prints that are always colourful, entertaining and full of cultural references.  Other artists much in evidence are Andy Warhol’s series of lithographs of the Queen (Sims Read and Jonathan Pascoe Pratt)) to tie in with the Jubilee year, David Hockney capitalising on the success of the recent Royal Academy show, Patrick Caulfied, Michael Craig-Martin, Julian Opie, Howard Hodgkin, Elizabeth Frink and also a selection of Old Master prints. Marlborough Graphics have an impressive display of monotypes by Hughie O’Donoghue’. In the wake of the successful Grosvenor School prints sale at Bonham’s on Tuesday, Osborne Samuel have a superb collection of linocuts by Cyril Power, Claude Flight, Sybil Andrews amongst others. They are always powerful images whether they are depicting rowers, acrobats, the London Underground or manual labourers and show print making with prices up to £90,000.  It is a very enjoyable fair in the setting of the elegant Royal Academy galleries and a haven from the April showers promised over the weekend.

The Grosvenor School of Modern Art was opened in London in 1925. Here Claude Flight lectured on the art of linocutting; Cyril Power on architecture; the young Sybil Andrews was the School Secretary and Lill Tschudi was a student from Switzerland. All attended Flight’s informal classes on his method of linocutting. So too did three Antipodeans; Ethel Spowers, Dorrit Black and Eveline Syme. Spowers in particular was influential in promoting the Grosvenor School in Australia by organising exhibitions.

The London Original Print Fair, Royal Academy Thursday 19 April – Sunday 22 April  Visit The Fair Here


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