Munch, Rembrandt, Symbolist Printmaking Exhibitions Now at the British Museum

There are ‘heavy-weight’ printmakers currently on display at the British Museum; two large ticketed exhibitions – ‘Edvard Munch’ and ‘Manga’, and two free displays on ‘Rembrandt: thinking on paper’ and ‘Symbolist Prints’. I did the Munch and free displays  in one visit and I highly recommend them to anyone interested in drawing, printmaking and symbolist art. I have yet to see the ‘Manga‘ exhibition, I am pretty excited about it, it looks fantastic!

Edvard Munch – love and angst – till 21 July 2019 – British Museum

An opportunity to see a collection of Munch’s prints, that cannot be missed. His coloured pastels and paintings of ‘The Scream’ are so famous and familiar to me that it is hard to ‘see’ them in any meaningful way. But viewing his lithograph of ‘The Scream’ in the exhibition I was struck anew by the tension between the peaceful scene and the figure vibrating with horror and anxiety.

Edvard Munch, The Scream. Lithograph, 1895. CC BY 4 The Munch Museum.


Rembrandt thinking on paper – till 4 August 2019

For me Rembrandt is a master of line and tone in drawing/printmaking; in this exhibition of 65 prints and drawings, you get to see the work in progress, the printed image in different states (a real treat).


From The British Museum blog: Rembrandt’s depictions of women.

Symbolist Prints – till 18 July 2019

A small display that packs a punch. Wonderful to see some old favourites by Odilon Redon such as his smiling ‘Spider’ lithograph. My favourite print in this display is ‘Seaweed’, an aquatint by Olaf Lange.

Olaf Lange Seaweed aquatint crop

Olaf Lange (1875-1965), Tang (Seaweed), 1912, Aquatint. British Museum, Presented by AEC Simoni, 1958,0730.39.


I do hope some of you get the opportunity to visit the above exhibitions – Enjoy!


The American Dream pop to the present Exhibition at the British Museum

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

Indigenous Australia: before the sheep arrived

Looking forward to seeing this exhibition!

British Museum blog

Gaye Sculthorpe, Curator, Oceania, British Museum

As curator of the BP exhibition Indigenous Australia: enduring civilisation it is a great privilege to be presenting this major exhibition in London. Over the past two years, it has been a special and sometimes moving experience to view and discuss objects in the collection with artists and community visitors from Australia – and to see these special objects up close. It is a big responsibility to put together an exhibition that does justice to the cultural and historical complexity of the story of Indigenous Australia – a story that is still unfolding.

Kungkarangkalpa (Seven Sisters) by Kunmanara Hogan, Tjaruwa Woods, Yarangka Thomas, Estelle Hogan, Ngalpingka Simms and Myrtle Pennington. Acrylic on canvas, H 1790 mm, W 2330 mm, British Museum, London 2014,2009.1 © The artists, courtesy Spinifex Arts Project.Kungkarangkalpa (Seven Sisters) by Kunmanara Hogan, Tjaruwa Woods, Yarangka Thomas, Estelle Hogan, Ngalpingka Simms and Myrtle Pennington. Acrylic on canvas, H 1790 mm, W 2330 mm. British Museum, London 2014,2009.1 © The artists, courtesy Spinifex Arts Project

Early British visitors to Australian shores were surprised to learn that there was more than one…

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Goya Prints On Display

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

Picasso Prints: The Vollard Suite

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

PICASSO Pablo,MINOTAUR CARESSANT UNE DORMEUSE, from the Vollard suite,Sotheby’s,New York

There is also a podcast available which includes Andrew Graham Dixon reviewing the exhibition on Front Row BBC Radio 4, which is quite an interesting listen, here is a link to it, his review is at the end of the podcast:

Grayson Perry The Tomb of the Unknown Craftsman

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!