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D L I W GS N I TH Lyndsey Ingram 20 Bourdon Street London W1K 3PL +4 4 (0)20 7629 8 849 W. T.




Pop Art, it still needs to be said, emerged simultaneously on both sides of the Atlantic and the term was first used in print not in America but in the UK as early as 1958. The paintings, sculptures, drawings and prints that emerged under the umbrella term from the early 1960s display an enormous range in medium, technique, style, subject matter and imagery, as befits a term that describes a multi-faceted movement rather than a unified style. The diversity of purpose and attitude is particularly marked among the British exponents of Pop, not only because of the marked individuality of their approaches but also because many of these artists were reluctant even to have the word applied to their work. The emergence of Pop Art coincided with the surge in printmaking during the 1960s, and the graphic flair displayed by many of the movement’s protagonists was perfectly suited to expression in the many processes on offer: not just the traditions of etching and lithography relying on hand-made marks, for which art school training had prepared David Hockney, Allen Jones and others, but also processes such


as photolithography and especially screenprinting, newly introduced into a fine art context from industry and the commercial realm of advertising, posters and packaging. Screenprinting in particular was to prove a perfect fit for artists who were plundering the mass media for found imagery, enabling them to import existing photographs, film stills and other publicly available material directly into the matrix of their own image manipulation. There was initially considerable resistance to these new processes from the defenders of traditional printmaking. The Londonbased Printmakers Council, established in 1965, contentiously argued that the deployment of photographic or ‘mechanical’ procedures, which they considered ‘reproductive’ processes, failed to meet the rigorous criteria of ‘original’ prints. Telling artists what they can or cannot do is rarely a good idea, however, and those entrenched attitudes succeeded only in persuading many of these artists to defy convention and to marshal non-traditional processes to their own ends, in the process reinvigorating printmaking with a new and peculiarly modern energy.

Joe Tilson’s Pop prints of the 1960s and early 1970s typify the attitude of these artists in breaking down the barriers. He has gone on record to explain that he set out explicitly to defy all the criteria by which artists were then expected to abide. As he told Colin Gleadell in an interview published in The Telegraph on 20 April 2009: ‘In the Sixties, I thought the question, “What is an original print?” was totally irrelevant … My aim was to make things that corresponded to my feelings and thoughts – not to pre-established categories.’ He therefore went so far as to compile a list of things one was not meant to do in printmaking and then set about methodically to break every one of those rules: ‘Make each print different; paint on prints; tear the paper; crumple and fold the paper; make holes in the print; make three-dimensional prints; glue objects to the print…’ That spirit of subversion and defiance, which took such specific forms in Tilson’s work, runs through the prints of many of the artists associated with Pop. Tilson’s New York Decals 1 & 2 of 1967, memorialising his recent experience of the vibrant city then considered the hub of the contemporary art world, can be viewed as a bold and impertinent act of appropriation that combines the conceptualism of Marcel Duchamp’s readymades with a celebration of the often despised products of ‘low’ culture directed at the undiscerning tourist in the age of mass travel. Like the P.C. from N.Y.C. he had made two years earlier, which monumentalises a set of fold-out postcards he had purchased as a souvenir of his visit to the Big Apple, the Decals delight in the brashness of technique, imagery and aesthetic of their sources. In a brilliant run of collage-based screenprints R. B. Kitaj engaged with his found material with a speed and spontaneity that provided an outlet for ideas he would have struggled to convey in the much slower resolution of his paintings. These screenprints derived from a dizzying variety of sources, including the covers and pages of the books that provided much of his inspiration, and were made almost entirely in collaboration with the screenprinter Chris Prater. In single sheets, as well as in extended portfolios such as When Mahler Becomes Politics – Beisbol, a suite of 15 prints made between

1964 and 1967, or the 14 prints and title page of A Day Book, Kitaj’s collaboration in 1970-72 with the American poet Robert Creeley, this American expatriate created the model of a diaristic type of printmaking that proved highly influential even though the artist himself later came to regret his immersion in photo-mechanical processes. Curiously, it was his most extreme set of screenprints, in which he came closest to the look of classic Pop, for which he retained a soft spot to the end of his life. This was the set of 50 sheets plus title page gathered together in 1969-70 as In Our Time: Covers for a Small Library After the Life for the Most Part, each replicated book cover representing an aspect of his intellectual and cultural life and personal history. Richard Hamilton skillfully deployed images from advertising and the movies, rephrasing them, altering and distending them through an endlessly resourceful reinvention of a bewildering variety of processes employed by commercial artists but previously unfamiliar in fine art. Hamilton worked not only in screenprinting but also in photo-etching, collotype, vacuum forming, lenticular acrylic, dye-transfer and later made digital prints devised on computer screens with Quantel Paintbox and other software, as well as more established techniques such as etching and aquatint, lithography and pochoir. Sometimes these were combined in complex permutations that stretched ‘mechanical’ procedures to the limit, making them as flexible, expressive and personal as any more notionally ‘autographic’ technique of mark-making. The mystery conjured by Hamilton out of sources that others might find banal is very much in evidence in two of his most celebrated prints, I’m Dreaming of a White Christmas 1967 and I’m Dreaming of a Black Christmas 1971, each based on a film still that featured Bing Crosby in one of his most famous roles. Playing with the haunting quality of a colour negative and reshaping the contours and textures of his photographic source, he creates here floating in-and-out-of focus images that transcend their source but that plunge the viewer into the realm of fantasy of Hollywood’s ‘dream factory’. As early as the 1950s Eduardo Paolozzi had pioneered the use of screenprinting in his art, years before Andy Warhol or


Robert Rauschenberg took it up in their paintings and prints in 1962, to forge an explicitly mechanistic look. A prolific artist of protean imagination and voracious curiosity, he was responsible for some of the great Pop screenprints of the 1960s, such as his As is When portfolio of 1965, constructed around the life and writings of the Viennese philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein, or the 101 sheets of collage-based images and texts housed in an alluring tinted Perspex box as Moonstrips Empire News in 1967. Peter Phillips, notably in his PNEUmatics portfolio of 1968, explored the potential of screenprinting in its most abrasive commercial guises, using shiny metallic inks, foil-blocking, collage and other methods that one might find, for example, in greeting-card production to create limited-edition prints that perfectly captured the aggressive formal beauty that he was simultaneously pursuing in his massive airbrushed paintings. In a gentler mode, Peter Blake likewise defied the rules he had been taught as a young art student: in prints such as The Beach Boys 1964, his first screenprint, he based his image directly on a source that his tutors would have despised, the cover of an LP record by his favourite band, compounding the sin of copying an existing design from the commercial sector by tracing it (another no-no), before wittily reconfiguring it as an ‘unfinished’ image (partly in outline, partly coloured in). This was a period of extraordinary originality in printmaking, with many of the artists engaging in a communal questioning of longstanding techniques and acting on a desire to inject the brash and wild energy of newly available procedures into an art form that had perhaps for too long clung to notions of decorum. This was true also of the painters who remained attached to the hand-made mark, such as Patrick Caulfield, who found in screenprinting the perfect forum for his ‘sign-painter’s’ aesthetic: hand-drawn images picked out in a uniform black line against flat areas of saturated colour, the insistent contours handily concealing the joins between one area of colour and another. In his case, every print was meticulously planned with an actual-size, hand-painted maquette that was then used as the template for hand-cut screens. Absolving himself of the need to be directly involved in the creation of the matrix, he was as radical in this respect


as Warhol or any other Pop artist engaged in farming out the production to the specialists. What mattered to Caulfield was not his immediate involvement in making the screens or printing the edition, but in achieving a flawless perfection, as if the image had somehow magically been transferred directly from his mind to the sheet. British Pop artists applied themselves with great ingenuity to the wealth of processes at their disposal, sometimes combining them in unusual ways (as in Hamilton’s case in particular) or subverting their expected uses. In the paintings he produced during his short but intense Pop period from 1962 to 1968, during much of which time he lived and worked in New York, Gerald Laing delighted in the double bluff of creating photographically derived imagery that appeared to be mechanically printed but was in fact meticulously painted by hand: he mimicked the half-tone dot of newspaper printing not with screenprinting (as Andy Warhol had done) or through the use of stencils (as in Roy Lichtenstein’s case), but by applying the dots with the tip of his brushes. In screenprints of 1968 such as his self-published portfolio Baby Baby Wild Things and the single image Brigitte Bardot (modelled closely on a painting he had created five years earlier), the photographic images have been subjected first to reinterpretation by hand, then transferred to the screens from hand-cut stencils, preserving the photo-mechanical look through a deft process of manual reinterpretation. The vast range of possibilities offered by printmaking processes veered from the most sophisticated deployment of new technologies to the most apparently ‘primitive’ solutions, even within the production of a single artist, as was the case with Colin Self. In his Power and Beauty set published in 1968 by Editions Alecto, he made use of commercially available photographs picturing various forms of wildlife, including a whale and an elephant, which he printed in stark black over monochromatic grounds on large sheets to emphasise their monumentality; in number 3 of the series, representing an early customised car, shown in close-up like a mechanised equivalent to a wild beast, he experimented effectively with the transfer of the photographic image to an etching plate,

the patterns of raised dots assuming a palpable physicality. Half a decade earlier, in prints such as Monument 1964 (Tate), Self had reconceptualised etching by printing from individually inked found metal plates laid together edge to edge in formations suggestive of fighter planes and unspecified monuments with science-fiction connotations. Traditional techniques continued to have their place. For Allen Jones, who had printed and published most of his early prints at the facilities of Croydon College of Art, where he taught in the early 1960s, lithography – a process devised in the late 18th century, and particular popular during the 19th and early 20th century centuries – proved enduringly attractive for the directness with which it relied on the drawing skills that were central also to his paintings. The Concerning Marriages portfolio published in 1964 in celebration of his recent wedding was his first major statement as a printmaker. Printed in blasts of festive colour and relying on improvised images indebted to the Surrealist method of automatic drawing, these lithographs boldly proclaimed his fluid draftsmanship and ebullient imagery teeming with sensuous eroticism. Later in the decade, in portfolios such as A New Perspective on Floors 1966 and Life Class 1968, he intensified the Pop aspects of his art: featuring photographic images suggestive of advertising and the fashion world, employing a harsher line and taking liberties with tradition by folding the lower fifth of a single sheet at an angle towards the viewer (as in the Floors), so that the illusion projected into the viewer’s space. In the case of Life Class, he created composite prints from two separate sheets abutted together in different combinations in the manner of the Surrealist game known as ‘the exquisite corpse’. For Hockney, by common consent the most gifted draftsman of his generation, the traditional processes of etching and lithography proved irresistible as a direct way of conveying imagery that combined pure invention with direct observation. The dialogue between his painting and printmaking was established early on, with the same subject favoured in his paintings sometimes reinterpreted or even prefigured in his prints. One of his earliest prints, Alka Seltzer 1961, which with its sly reference to the packaging of a familiar pharmaceutical

product provides one of the rare instances of a foray into the Pop territory of consumerism, relates closely to a painting of the same year, The Most Beautiful Boy in the World. His interest at the time in the language of urban graffiti, derived in part from his admiration of the French artist Jean Dubuffet but appropriate too for conveying the secret assignations of the gay life he was embracing, found vivid expression in the deliberately scratchy look of his hand-crafted etchings. By and large Hockney kept his distance from Pop, a movement that he proclaimed early on not to be part of, though in his Hollywood Collection of lithographs, published in 1965 while he was living in Los Angeles, he provided a very personal and typically humorous take on Pop by fashioning a set of prints (complete with printed frames) that he presented in the guise of an instant art collection for a Hollywood starlet. Cleanliness is Next to Godliness 1964, the sole screenprint executed by Hockney during a long and distinguished career as a printmaker concerned primarily with the autographic techniques of etching and lithography, was part of an extensive portfolio of screenprints by 22 artists masterminded by Richard Hamilton in 1963-4 and published by the Institute of Contemporary Arts in London. Every one of these artists worked closely with the master screenprinter Chris Prater (1924 -1996), whose previous experience was mainly in commercial printing and who not only introduced most of them to the medium but can be said to have been a full collaborator, facilitating the realisation of each artist’s vision and in so doing greatly expanding the applications of the medium. For some artists associated with Pop Art who were included in the portfolio, notably Hockney, Derek Boshier and Richard Smith, this was to prove a rare experiment. Many of the participating artists, however, including Blake, Caulfield, Kitaj, Paolozzi, Phillips and Tilson, went on to work for many years with Prater at his Kelpra Studio, producing extensive bodies of work in the medium which stand out as some of the liveliest and most innovative graphic work of the postwar era in Great Britain. British Pop artists, as well as artists of many other persuasions, benefited enormously from the dynamic activities of print


publishers active in the UK during the 1960s and 1970s including Editions Alecto, Petersburg Press and Waddington Graphics. There were also, of course, opportunities for printing or publishing abroad: Jones’s first major portfolio, Concerning Marriages, was created with E. Matthieu in Zürich, but published by Editions Alecto; Phillips’s PNEUmatics were printed at Kelpra in London, but published in Zürich by Edition Bischofberger; two of Hockney’s early etchings were published in New York, and in 1965 he worked with Ken Tyler at Gemini in Los Angeles, forging an important creative partnership that endured for more than two decades. Laing and Hamilton took things into their own hands by publishing some of their own prints. At a time when contemporary art was finally becoming collectable in the UK, the sudden availability of editioned prints, initially very modestly priced, was crucial in the dissemination of original art to collectors who might not otherwise have been able to afford to buy work by those artists. This democratic aspect of printmaking, facilitated by the economies of scale, was in particular alignment with the anti-hierarchical spirit of Pop Art. For these artists printmaking was a serious activity in itself, not just a commercial spin-off from their main bodies of work, and the challenges posed by their engagement with different mediums often brought out in them new directions in experimental thinking that fed back into their other work. Half a century on, these groundbreaking prints look as fresh, bold and youthful as the day they were created, still speaking just as vividly to audiences in the internet age as they did during the decade in which they were forged in what Labour leader Harold Wilson referred to in a famous speech of 1963 as ‘the white heat of the technological revolution’. © Marco Livingstone 2018

Detail right: Gerald Laing Brigitte Bardot, screenprint in colours, 1968



Joe Tilson P.C. From N.Y.C. Screenprint in colours with collage, 1965. Signed in pencil and numbered from the edition of 70. Printed on cartridge paper by Kelpra Studio, London. Published by Marlborough Graphics, London. 197 Ă— 65 cm



Joe Tilson New York Decals 1 & 2 Screenprint in colours with mixed media, 1967. Signed in pencil and numbered from the edition of 70. Printed on cartridge paper by Kelpra Studio, London. Published by Marlborough Graphics, London. 90.5 Ă— 101.3 cm



Richard Hamilton People Photograph, screenprint, Letratone, retouched by hand and sprayed, with collage, 1968. Signed in pencil and numbered from the edition of 26. Photograph printed on photo-enlarging paper and mounted on board at Carlton Studios, London; screenprinted by the artist and Chris Prater at Kelpra Studio, London. Retouched by the artist. Published by the artist. (Lullin 66) 65 Ă— 84 cm



Richard Hamilton I’m Dreaming of a White Christmas Screenprint in colours, 1967. Signed in pencil and numbered from the edition of 75. Printed on German mould-made paper by Domberger, Stuttgart. Published by the artist. (Lullin 64) 76.5 × 104 cm



Richard Hamilton I’m Dreaming of a Black Christmas Screenprint on collotype with collage, 1971. Signed in pencil and numbered from the edition of 150. Printed on Schoeller Elfenbein-Karton by Schreiber, Dietz Offizin, and HP Haas, Germany. Published by Petersburg Press, London. (Lullin 82) 74.8 × 97 cm



Richard Hamilton Release Screenprint in colours with collage, 1972. Signed in pencil and numbered from the edition of 150. Printed on Hodgkinson mould-made paper by Kelpra Studio, London. Published by Petersburg Press for the National Council of Civil Liberties and Release, London. (Lullin 83) 68.6 Ă— 86.3 cm



Gerald Laing Baby Baby Wild Things The portfolio of five screenprints in colours, 1968. Each signed in pencil and numbered from the edition of 200. Printed on smooth white paper by the artist. Published by the artist with his blind stamp. (Ingram & Halliwell 23 – 27) Each sheet: 89 × 58.5 cm



Gerald Laing Brigitte Bardot Screenprint in colours, 1968. Signed in pencil and numbered from the edition of 200. Printed on smooth white paper by the artist. Published by the artist with his blind stamp. (Ingram & Halliwell 22) 89 Ă— 58.5 cm



Allen Jones Concerning Marriages D, E, F & G Lithograph printed in colours, 1964. Plate D signed in pencil and inscribed ‘artist’s proof’. Plates E, F & G signed in pencil and numbered from the edition of 75. Printed on BFK Rives wove paper by Emil Matthieu, Zurich. Published by Editions Alecto, London, with their blind stamp. (Livingstone/ Lloyd 24d) Each sheet: 76 × 56.5 cm


Plate D

Plate E

Plate F

Plate G


David Hockney Alka Seltzer Etching, 1961. Signed in pencil and numbered from the edition of 15. Printed on Crisbrook handmade paper by Maurice Payne, London. Published by Petersburg Press, London. (Scottish Arts Council 6; Tokyo 6) 40 Ă— 29 cm



David Hockney Mirror, Mirror on the Wall Etching and aquatint printed in colours, 1961. Signed in pencil. From the edition of aproximately 50. Printed on handmade English paper by Ron Fuller and Peter Mathews at the Royal College of Art, London. Published by Petersburg Press, London. (Scottish Arts Council 10; Tokyo 10) 56 Ă— 79 cm



David Hockney The Gospel Singing (Good People) Madison Square Garden Etching and aquatint printed in colours, 1961 – 63. From A Rake's Progress. A working proof aside from the edition of 50. Printed by C. H. Welch, London. Published by Editions Alecto, London. (Tokyo 15) 49 × 61 cm



David Hockney Cleanliness is Next to Godliness Screenprint in colours, 1964. Signed in pencil and inscribed ‘Artists Proof’. A proof aside from the edition of 40. Printed by Christopher Prater at Kelpra Studio. Published by the Institute of Contemporary Arts, London. (Toyko 39) 90.5 × 58.5 cm



David Hockney Edward Lear Etching and aquatint, 1964. Signed in pencil and inscribed ‘Artists Proof’. A proof aside from the edition of 50. Printed on mould-made paper by Giulio Sorrini, New York. Published by Associated American Artists. (Scottish Arts Council 34; Tokyo 34) 61 × 51 cm



David Hockney Picture of a still life that has an elaborate silver frame Screenprint in colours, 1965. Signed in pencil ad numbered TP VIII/XVIII. A proof aside from the edition of 85. From: A Hollywood Collection. Printed on BFK Rives paper by Gemini, Los Angeles. Published by Editions Alecto, London. (Scottish Arts Council 41) 77 Ă— 56.5 cm



David Hockney Portrait of Cavafy II Etching, 1966. Signed in pencil and dated '66. A proof aside from the edition of 300. Sold with accompanying book. Printed on Crisbrook handmade paper by Maurice Payne and Danyon Black at the Alecto Studios, London. Published by Editions Alecto, London. (Scottish Arts Council 59) 46.5 Ă— 32.5 cm



David Hockney Vase and Flowers Etching and aquatint, 1969. Signed in pencil and inscribed ‘AP’. An artist's proof aside from the edition of 75. Printed on Crisbrook handmade paper by Maurice Payne at Petersburg Press, London. Published by Petersburg Press. (Tokyo 66) 93.5 × 71 cm



David Hockney Rue de Seine Etching and aquatint, 1971. Signed in pencil and numbered from the edition of 150. Printed on J Green mould-made paper by the Print Shop, Amsterdam. Published by Petersburg Press, London for the National Council of Civil Liberties and Release in London. (Scottish Arts Council 121; Tokyo 111) 89.4 Ă— 70.6 cm



David Hockney Panama Hat Etching and aquatint, 1972. Signed in pencil and inscribed ‘special proof’. A proof aside from the edition of 125. Printed on Crisbrook handmade paper by Shirley Clement at The Print Shop, Amsterdam. Published by Brooke Alexander, and Petersburg Press, New York. (Scottish Arts Council 127; Tokyo 119) 42 × 34 cm



David Hockney Two Vases in the Louvre Etching and aquatint printed in colours, 1974. Signed in pencil and numbered from the edition of 75. Printed on Inveresk mould-made paper by Maurice Payne, London. Published by Petersburg Press, London. (Scottish Arts Council 168; Tokyo 154) 99.5 Ă— 92 cm



Published by Lyndsey Ingram on the occasion of the exhibition: Wild Things: British Pop Prints of the 1960s and 1970s The Armory Show, New York. 8th – 11th March, 2018. Designed by Lucy Harbut Printed by Dayfold

Wild Things: British Pop Prints of the 1960s and 1970s  
Wild Things: British Pop Prints of the 1960s and 1970s  

At this year's Armory Show, we are proud to present a curated show of British Pop prints. Each of the selected artists played a key role in...