The Printed line exhibition was one of the casualties of the earlier lockdown in Inverness. I read the information and thought that would have been a really good visit. Imagine my pleasure then on returning home To see it was exhibiting at Worcester.
Worcester City Art Gallery and Museum is not normally one of my regular haunts, being drawn more often to the cathedral at the other end of the city. It’s exhibitions are normally quite parochial and the museum is dominated by military history. This celebration of line printing certainly attracted me though.
The Printed Line, presentation blew me away. It is an exceptional group of prints from the Art Council’s collection, containing works from just about all the great modern artists, whose works include this media. David Hockney, Pablo Picasso, Walter Sickert, Fernand Leger, Bridget Riley, Victor Passmore, Kenneth Martin… the list goes on.
The Art Council have presented the exhibition which has been on tour since 2019, and includes a very neat video entitled “An Introduction to Printing Techniques” presented by Professor Paul Caldwell of the University of the Arts London. In the video he explains how the various techniques are applied in very straightforward language and refers to specific prints from the exhibition. From relief wood and linoleum printing to all the various metal methods and, further, to lithography and screen printing.
All are represented in this delightful exhibition spread over two rooms. The introductory piece by Bridget Riley sets the scene and is followed by a tour of some seventy pieces. I chatted with the supervisor about favourite pieces. Mine was a lithography by William Gear, a personal favourite. Gear, the son of a coal miner from Methil in Fife has always fascinated me with the juxtaposition of colours and the dark black lines of industry. Her choice was a much more sensual piece by Derrick Greaves, one of the “kitchen sink” artists, who also represented Britain in the 1950 Venice Biennale.
The exhibition walls are covered with all manner of treats from twentieth century artists; one following another. The Printed Line exhibition is at Worcester until 14th November before it moves to Norwich. There have been a few cancellations so let’s hope the Arts Council extend the tour towards 2022. In the meantime enjoy, keep to the rules of common sense and social distancing and keep safe.