Summer Breeze: An Ensemble of Prints - Exhibitions

Golden Square

Summer Breeze: An Ensemble of Prints

29 June 2018 – 3 August 2018

Polly Apfelbaum, Fiona Banner aka The Vanity Press, Anna Barriball, Massimo Bartolini, Tacita Dean, Juan Muñoz, Cornelia Parker, Thomas Schütte

Summer Breeze: An Ensemble of Prints - Exhibitions

Summer Breeze is a group exhibition that presents various approaches to contemporary printmaking. The works brought together in this exhibition are a testament to the possibilities borne out of the central tenets of printmaking: reproduction, multiplication, and seriality.

Polly Apfelbaum adopted a systematic approach to create the series Hudson River Vallery Nirvana (2016) with Durham Press. These woodblock prints use vertical lines and a square format as a starting point from which to explore the interaction of primary and secondary colours repeated in different arrangements. The variation among the series showcases the unexpected results that can arise from a clear and controlled process.

Fiona Banner established the imprint The Vanity Press in 1997 and has since created prolific text-based works and prints. Continuous Beat (2017) is a page from Banner’s seminal 1997 work THE NAM (from the Apocalypse Now section), super blown up in scale. It is part of a series of which reproduces all the pages in the book with the words Wp Wp Wp on them, Banner’s onomatopoeic description of the sound of helicopter blades beating in the sky.

Anna Barriball regards the domestic environment as an extension of ourselves, including what is unseen, felt or perceived. Untitled (2008) is a work comprised of fabric leaves cut from curtains she discovered in a market, identical to those that hung in her 1970s childhood home. Here, memory is inexorably linked to the object, and is further complicated by its newfound context as a floor-based installation.

Massimo Bartolini’s practice embraces various materials and techniques, from sculpture and drawing to performance and photography. 145 Hours (2014) is reminiscent of the intertwining strings and fibers of the heart muscle, or the organic structure of a leaf. Anatomical in nature and dynamic in composition, this piece demonstrates a sense of control and order in the way that the fibers interweave.

Tacita Dean’s work in still photography is closely related to her 16mm and 35mm film work. FILM stills (2011) are, as the title suggests, stills from her Tate Turbine Hall project FILM presented in a way that evokes a storyboard. Like FILM, the series of stills joyously foregrounds the history of film-imagery: black and white alternates with bursts of colour, interior shots meld with exterior shots, and abstraction meets figurative imagery. Dean deliberately references bygone techniques of achieving special effects in film, recalling early cinema and experiments with colour.

Juan Muñoz came to international prominence in the mid 1980s with his sculptural installations, but is also well known for his prints and drawings. He described himself as a storyteller, and often arranged his figures and objects in carefully staged configurations that hint at unsettling and ambiguous scenarios. He was fascinated by the tension between the illusory and the real, using tricks of scale and perspective to choreograph the viewer’s experience.

Cracked walls provide the inspiration for Cornelia Parker’s Prison Wall Abstract (A Man Escaped) (2012-13). This set of 12 photographic prints depicts the perimeter wall of Pentonville Prison in London. Parker photographed the marks literally seconds before they were obliterated forever by a layer of magnolia paint. Later that day, after the paint was barely dry, a prisoner (incarcerated for a shot gun murder) escaped from the prison after scaling the walls.

For Thomas Schütte, printmaking is a significant medium on a par with any other, and forms a significant part of his own artistic practice. Amongst the artist’s best known and highly praised work is his Frauen series, a group of 18 monumental sculptures made of bronze, steel and aluminum. Frauen Series C (2006) introduces an intimate vantage point on the Frauen figures; their delicately detailed and coloured bodies mark a total contrast to the almost brutal monumentality of the sculptures themselves.

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