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London Original Print Fair celebrates Sir Peter Blake's 80th birthday

Sir Peter Blake © CCA Galleries

Event preview

THE 27th London Original Print Fair will open its doors with an evening dedicated to the 80th birthday celebrations and printmaking accomplishments of Sir Peter Blake.

Blake will give a special ‘in conversation’ talk on Thursday, April 19, 2012 hosted by the London Original Print Fair. The talk will reveal Blake’s longstanding dedication to print media and underline his status as one of Britain’s most influential artists.

Within the fair, CCA Galleries will stage a special retrospective of Blake’s iconographic works, spanning the six-decade printmaking career that has seen him work in woodcut, etching, lithography and, more recently, digitally.

Blake’s dedication to printmaking goes hand in hand with his belief that art should be accessible to a wide audience. With his paintings often fetching six figure sums, his prints represent an opportunity to collect Blake at an affordable price.

This reflects the aim of the event itself, as Fair Director Helen Rosslyn explains:

“The medium of printmaking makes collecting art accessible to a much wider group. What people perhaps do not realise about the Print Fair is that whatever major exhibitions are on in London at the same time, visitors can come along to see and buy works by the very same artists at the fair.

“This year for example we will have etchings by the legendary Lucian Freud; Damien Hirst; Picasso and modern British artists; Grayson Perry and German Romantic prints. The Print Fair provides an unrivalled opportunity for broadening your knowledge of art and starting or expanding your own collection, whatever your area of interest.”

The fair will also be picking up on the Jubilee theme, with a number of galleries bringing works that relate to Queen and country: Sims Reed Gallery will show Andy Warhol’s iconic lithograph of the Queen, and contemporary specialist Paul Stolper will mark the event with Sir Peter Blake’s patriotic Union Jack. A Jubilee themed Print Trail will run consecutively with the Fair in Piccadilly’s historic Burlington Arcade.

Over fifty exhibitors will show works ranging from £100 to £100,000 at what is now the world’s longest-running specialist print fair. Notable London galleries such as Alan Cristea Gallery, Flowers Graphics, Marlborough Graphics, Sims Reed and Austin/Desmond will show alongside expert private dealers such as Frederick Mulder (Picasso) and Christopher Mendez (Old Masters).

Mary Ryan, The Old Print Shop and Hill Stone will all be returning from the USA. The additions to this year’s line up include: City and Guilds, the major London art college, Brook Gallery (Devon) and Jamie Wood’s new London space, Whisper Gallery.

“One of the great strengths of this Fair is that it continues to balance contemporary work with old and modern masters, producing a wide spectrum of artworks spanning several centuries which sets us apart from other Fairs,” says fair Chairman Gordon Cooke, of The Fine Art Society.

The number of galleries showing contemporary work remains strong, with RA Editions showing works by Tracey Emin and Gary Hume; several exhibitors will be representing David Hockney, and Jealous Gallery plans to launch their annual Graduate Prize portfolio, which is awarded to MA graduates from the major London art schools.

Dealer Andrew Edmunds will show works by eighteenth century painter of European society Zohann Zoffany and Paupers Press will unveil a set of hand drawn colour lithographs by the newly appointed PRA and dedicated printmaker Christopher Le Brun.

The Fine Art Society will show work by John Copley, who was awarded silver Olympic medal in 1948, the last year the arts were included in the Olympic Games, while TAG Fine Arts will unveil and launch a specially commissioned 2012 London map by Stephen Walter.

Previously Posted: Spring 2012 sees a celebratory return for the longest running specialist print fair in the world, The London Original Print Fair, which will be held over the weekend of April 19 – 22, 2012.

The Fair will once again take place in the main galleries at the Royal Academy of Arts, Burlington House on Piccadilly.

A programme of special events themed around the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee will run alongside the main Fair. These will include an inaugural printmaking lecture, a print trail and guided tours by printmaking specialists.

Now in its 27th year, The London Original Print Fair has steadily established itself as the leading European venue for print dealers worldwide.

Last April, a total of 56 international exhibitors from countries such as the UK, Germany, France, USA and Slovenia showed prints that ranged from rare Picasso linocuts to one-off Gavin Turk prints.

A full programme of special events will be available on over the coming months.

Royal Academy of Arts, Burlington House, Piccadilly, London, W1J 0BD