The Royal College of Art is the world’s most influential postgraduate university of art and design, and Artfinder is delighted to offer a selection of prints from its Printmaking Archive on our Online Store.
These high quality original prints were produced by some of the RCA’s most prestigious professors and alumni, and sales go to the Printmaking Appeal Fund, which supports next generation artists and printmakers. Produced in limited quantities, these prints – a selection of lithographs, woodcuts and screen prints – are truly unique.
Three of the prints on offer at Artfinder were produced in collaboration with the Royal Shakespeare Company, in response to its 50 year anniversary celebrations in 2011. As part of the RSC’s 2011 Folio exhibition and publication, these artworks are contemporary takes on Shakespeare today as well as the medium of print-making itself.
The first, Will.M.Shakes (and Ices) by Mark Hampson (above), is a screen print – a technique that uses a woven mesh and stencil to transfer ink to a surface. With the pun ‘as u lick it’, the work uses humour and vintage graphics to re-contextualise the work of Shakespeare.
Hampson graduated from the RCA in 1992, where he won the first ever Susan Kasen Summer award, taking him to the USA where he lived until 1997. He has exhibited widely throughout Europe, the USA and Asia, and is represented in numerous major collections including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Victoria and Albert Museum, and the Hyundai Arts Collection. This print is was produced in an edition of 60 and is available to purchase from Artfinder for £580.
Adam Dant’s The Theatre, Shoreditch is a 3-colour chiaroscuro woodcut, a technique whereby an image is carved into the surface of a block of wood, creating a relief in which the raised elements are printed. The work depicts The Theatre in East London, the Elizabethan home of shakespeare’s acting troupe. The work has a flat depth and graffiti-like texture that might appear like a modern graphic print, quite unique for this traditional technique which was the main medium for book illustrations until the late-16th century.
‘My woodcut has been made from a block of wood salvaged from a carpentry workshop which stood directly on the site of The Theatre,’ says Dant, who graduated from the RCA in 1991. ‘The image in my print combines the architecture of The Theatre with that of a similar polygonal, multi-storey car park which now stands close to the site. I discovered that the current car park on Curtain Road often appears in the subconscious reveries of local Shoreditch folk as an Elizabethan theatre.’
Dant has exhibited at several prestigious galleries including the Tate Modern, MoMA and the Hayward Gallery, and this work is available to purchase signed in a limited edition of 60 for £800.
Joe Tilson’s stone lithograph print Shakespeare’s Sonnet XV forms part of the Government Art Collection, and was originally printed in 1964 for the 400 year anniversary of Shakespeare’s birth. ‘Shakespeare’s sonnets are just as important now as they were then,’ says the artist. ‘The imagery and technique I chose to use was very different to the other artists and was technically quite difficult to produce in 1964. It’s fascinating to see the print again 47 years later and I’m pleased it’s being exhibited at the RSC and re-printed for the portfolio.’
Tilson took inspiration from Shakespeare’s XV Sonnet and its astronomical theme and celestial imagery. He incorporated its 16th century verse with images of lunar space flights, juxtaposing the old with the new – in this case, 1960s technology – to create a striking collage effect.
Tilson graduated from the RCA in 1955 and became heavily involved with the Pop Art movement in the 1960s, taking influence from the cultural and political trends of that decade as his contemporaries did – namely, sexual liberation, political activism and material consumerism. He politicises Shakespeare’s work to comment upon the social and cultural change of the 60s.
He is represented at the Tate in London and the Museum of Modern Art in New York, and this work is available to purchase signed in an edition of 60 for £800.
Chris Orr’s lithograph Arcadia is available to purchase signed in an edition of 60 for £425. The former Professor and Head of Printmaking at the RCA said of his medium of choice, ‘This is the golden age of print – from the traditional technologies to the latest digital works, from Gutenberg to Gates, print and printmaking weaves its way through our culture.’ He has exhibited at the Tate, the Royal Academy of Arts and the British Museum.
He composes his works of allusions, metaphors and arcane references, building up a rich and complex visual language. He sees his position as an artist as a viewer or voyeur, translating life and the truths he sees around him into print.
‘If you visit my studio you might get a notion of the method in my madness by looking at my shelves, in my drawing books and all the other bits and pieces lying around. I have made a principle out of out of untidiness. From the mass of material, visual, literary and musical it is possible to construct hybrid forms that reflect, comment and prophesy. As well as the studio cornucopia, there is an extensive attic in my head from where I can retrieve the memory of items.’