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Jonathan Yeo: The Print Retrospective

Jonathan Yeo: The Print Retrospective

Exhibition preview

OVER the past decade, British artist Jonathan Yeo has established himself as one of the world’s leading contemporary portrait artists.

To commemorate the launch of Lazarides Editions and seven years of Yeo working with the gallery, an exhibition entitled Jonathan Yeo: The Print Retrospective will be on display from November 20 to December 20, 2014 at Sea Containers on the Thames South Bank.

Lazarides Editions’ inaugural exhibition this November will reflect upon an area of Yeo’s practice that has not yet been highlighted in any previous retrospective, celebrating the artist’s comprehensive body of widely acclaimed printed material.

Following Yeo’s landmark 2013 exhibition at London’s National Portrait Gallery, he has recently been the subject of a mid-career retrospective at the Lowry in Manchester. A major new body of work, Jonathan Yeo Portraits, will mark the artist’s most recent museum showcase later this autumn at Newcastle’s Laing Art Gallery.

Lazarides and Jonathan Yeo commenced collaborating in 2007 with Yeo’s first exhibition to feature his hugely popular pornographic collage series.

Bush, the unauthorised portrait of the then US president George W Bush, was conceived and launched as a 22 colour screen print, igniting the artist’s interest in printed editions. The screen print, initially made for preservation purposes, embraced the integrity of the original collage and prompted an experimental phase with printmaking, encompassing etching, layering, stenciling, hand finishing and digital formats.

Jonathan Yeo: The Print Retrospective will see over 30 different limited editions brought together in one place, including a selection of unseen portraits and new pieces created specifically for the exhibition. In addition to the unique curation of fine art prints, Lazarides Editions is thrilled to release an exclusive, hand-finished monograph, mapping the artist’s prolific career and exploring a wide range of progressive printed media.

Jonathan Yeo (b. London, 18 December 1970) is internationally reknowned for his portraits of iconic figures including Nicole Kidman, Damien Hirst, Malala Yousafzai, Kevin Spacey and Tony Blair. The British painter has exhibited extensively in Europe, North America and the Far East.

Yeo was never formally trained at art school, instead he taught himself how to paint in his early twenties while recovering from lymphatic cancer, before carving out a career in the nineties painting a range of prestigious cultural and political figures.

In 2007, Yeo’s work took a new direction when the White House reneged on a commission for him to paint a portrait of President George W. Bush. He went ahead with the picture anyway, creating a collaged likeness out of pornographic magazines, including a sexual act reportedly illegal in the state of Texas. The image was shown by Lazarides in London, New York and Los Angeles, resulting in immediate worldwide notoriety.

Jonathan Yeo sees his collages as a wry comment on the gradual pornographisation of advertising and the mass media. He says the portraits are playful references to the warped attitudes toward sex and morality, while the nudes emphasise the dramatically contrasting portrayals of the female body.

Yeo’s ability to fuse the figurative and abstract is ever evident in his work and transfers effectively into printmaking. His evolving interests in portraiture can be clearly charted through the various media, from the collage period through the surgery series and up to more recent high profile portraiture. To find out more about Yeo visit jonathanyeo.com/.

Lazarides Editions, a new gallery within London’s globally acclaimed Mondrian Hotel, will present a comprehensive schedule of bespoke exhibitions, artist collaborations and independent events in addition to a revolving curation of notable print editions.