I saw The American Dream pop to the present print exhibition at the British Museum and I highly recommend a visit especially if you are interested in print. This exhibition explores the last 60 years of American history through the printed output of great artists responding to the changing world around them. The exhibition is visually and historically dense with intelligent art. I picked up postcards of two of my favourite prints from the exhibition.
‘Pay Attention’ 1973 Bruce Nauman Litograph © Bruce Nauman/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York and DACS, London 2017. Image coutesy Mary Ryan Gallery, new York.
‘Dead End 2’ from Rusty Signs 2014 Ed Ruscha Mixografia print on handmade paper. © Ed Ruscha, courtesy of the artist
This week I went to one of my favourite places in London, Room 90 Prints & Drawings, where presently being exhibited are some fine Goya prints, part of an exhibition ‘Renaissance to Goya: prints and drawings from Spain’. Prints on display included images from ‘The Disasters Of War’, ‘The Disparates’, and ‘La Tauromaquia’. I felt a real thrill viewing them in the flesh so to speak, such a different experience compared with looking at book reproductions or web images. Goya’s prints for me are powerful, full of charater and narrative; many seem fresh and modern in form and composition, they spoke to me directly.
Grande hazaña! Con muertos (An heroic feat! With dead men) / Los Desastres de la Guerra (The Disasters of War) series / etching by Francisco Goya 1810-1812 / Prints & Drawings British Museum
Quien se pondrá el cas – cabel al gato? (Who will bell the cat?) Disparate de bestia (Animal folly) / Los Proverbios series / etching by Francisco Goya 1816-1824 / Prints & Drawings British Museum
Desgracias acaecidas en el tendido de la plaza de Madrid, y muerte del alcalde de Torrejón (Dreadful events in the front rows of the ring in Madrid and death of the mayor of Torrejón) / La Tauromaquia series / etching by Fancisco Goya 1860 / Prints & Drawings British Museum
The British Museum is always a fantastic place to visit, with a wealth of wonderful objects from all around the world and throughout the ages. I have lived in London all my life, and have visited the British Museum regularly since I was a child, every visit I will always find something new to catch my eye. Apart from the permanent collections, the British Museum has a changing calendar of special exhibitions and displays. One of my favourite display rooms is Room 90 Prints & Drawings, where presently being exhibited is a famous set of etchings, The Vollard Suite by Picasso. I saw this exhibition recently and came away extremely impressed by the bold draughtsmanship of the etchings, by the energy, movement and emotion that Picasso imbues in such a simple thing as a drawn line.
For me some of the most powerful prints featured the Minotaur and the violently embracing figures.
Coupling. I from the Vollard Suite
Pablo Picasso (Spanish, 1881–1973)
November 2, 1933, printed 1939. Etching and drypoint, plate: 7 13/16 x 10 15/16″ (19.8 x 27.8 cm); sheet: 13 3/8 x 17 1/2″ (34 x 44.4 cm). Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Fund. © 2012 Estate of Pablo Picasso / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
I am very much looking forward to seeing Grayson Perry’s ‘The Tomb of the Unknown Craftsman’ at the British Museum. I absolutely love listening to Grayson Perry talk about making art/craft whatever you want to call it. He discusses in a very down to earth manner and is inspiring to listen to; he has a wry dry sense of humour and isn’t afraid to laugh at himself first and foremost. I highly recommend viewing the programme ‘Imagine Grayson Perry and the Tomb of the Unknown Craftsmen’ on BBC iplayer whilst it lasts – fantastic!