A story of contemporary Scottish art told in INK

Since Glasgow Print Studio opened in 1972, it has provided professional printmaking facilities for artists.

There are two ways by which artists can work at Glasgow Print Studio. As members, they can come and go as they please, using the workshop facilities to make prints under their own steam. Or, as invited artists, they work with Master Printmakers to create specific works known as ‘publications’.

Over the years, hundreds of artists, from Scotland and from around the world, have worked with the Studio to produce publication etchings, screenprints, relief prints, lithographs, mezzotints and digital prints – some in editions and some as one-off pieces. As part of the deal, the Studio retains one print from the edition, or one work from a varied series of monotypes, which becomes part of the Glasgow Print Studio Archive.

The archive itself now holds over 1500 prints and reads as a veritable who’s who of Scottish art over the last 40 plus years. From Elizabeth Blackadder to Martin Boyce, Bruce Mclean to Ian McCulloch, the names, styles and concepts found in this archive are diverse.

The common ground between each work is printmaking as the medium of choice. From here, the artists’ ability to adopt, adapt and manipulate this medium to create unique works has pulled printmaking in every direction. As a resulted, the collection provides examples of deeply intricate and precise traditions of printmaking alongside works which employ experimental and innovative techniques to challenge those traditions.

What makes this collection especially significant is the professional standard to which each work has been produced. This, of course, is due to the expertise of the Studio’s resident Master Printmakers, without whom this collection would not exist.

This new exhibition brings together 56 works from the archive and features prints by John Bellany , John Byrne , Philip Reeves , Elizabeth Blackadder , Jim Lambie and Christine Borland to name a few.

The works in this exhibition have been selected by Sam Ainsley, David Harding, Sandy Moffat, collectively known as AHM, at the invitation of Studio Director John MacKechnie.

Sandy Moffat said of the project, “Many, indeed, most of the leading artists in the city have worked in the Print Studio, a remarkable tribute to the Studio’ s standing within the community of artists, not only in Glasgow but across Scotland and further afield. Sifting through the Archive, a treasure trove of prints made over the past five decades has been a great privilege and a pleasure. If the purpose of art is about responding to and creating for an audience, then the Glasgow Print Studio has shown how that can be done.”

Highlights from the exhibition include Steven Campbell’s mysterious etching ‘Natural Follies at Bee Junction’, Ken Currie ‘s disturbing ‘The Shape of the People’, the front page illustration from Alasdair Gray ‘s modern classic novel Lanark , Bruce McLean ‘s A Building as a Score and Bridge by Philip Reeves .

INK: Public Archive continues until 26 March 2017 at Glasgow Print Studio.

Steven Campbell, Natural Follies at Bee Junction, 1985

Steven Campbell, Natural Follies at Bee Junction, 1985

John Byrne, Girl With Monkey, 1972

John Byrne, Girl With Monkey, 1972

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