I spent a gorgeous Spring afternoon at The London Original Print Fair. Held at the Royal Academy, I realised that this was actually the first time visiting, even though I’ve walked by the RA so many times and also worked at galleries nearby. As I reached the top of the marble stairs, my eyes were immediately fixated on sale signs in the Christmas card section. C’mon, £2 for a set of 10 cards! I couldn’t resist! With my Christmas cards in tow, I entered the fair and this time, I was immediately drawn to a vintage London Overground print by long-standing collaborators Sybil Andrews and Cyril Power:
I continued around the fair and my eyes caught a print of vibrant red orange by Howard Hodgkin:
Speaking with the owner of the gallery, she informed me that this was part of a series called “5 Rooms” and this was one of his earlier works featuring simple minimal forms before becoming more spontaneous with his abstract works. If I had £2,400, I would’ve purchased it (and as of today it’s now sold).
I continued browsing but this time recognised a older man sitting at a booth - Peter Blake! I did a double take but it was confirmed when someone asked him to sign The Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper Lonely Hearts Club Band album not to mention the booth he was at featured his prints:
I debated on whether or not to approach him as I honestly wouldn’t know what to say. I wanted to tell him that my first ever art work that I purchased for my 30th was one of his prints but I honestly couldn’t remember the name nor the series of the print! I wish I knew about his recent unveiling at the Royal Albert Hall otherwise maybe I could’ve talked about that? As I went back and forth on this I watched him leave, uttering, “Goodbye, Peter Blake”. Oh well. Blake was quite popular at this fair as I spotted his works at a few more booths including the Brook Gallery.
Moving on, I ended up approaching Long & Ryle and really liked the porcelain works by Katharine Morling:
I ended up purchases the glasses featured in the series and I think it looks great together with some of my glasses and sunglasses, don’tcha agree?
By the way, I love maps! - I think it all started with Alighiero Boetti’s Map of the World. Or perhaps on a more personal level, my mother loved this globe she received as a gift from work, and I always saw her examining at it. And now that I’ve discovered The Afternoon Map, I’ll must warn you though, don’t be surprised if most of my tweets will now feature maps. MMMMMAAAAPPPPPSSSSSS!!!!
That said, at Tag Fine Arts, I really liked Justine Smith’s prints of maps featuring each country’s respective currency:
After an hour or two (I seemed to have lost track of time), I left the fair but of course I spotted yet another sale section at the RA’s gift shop. Peaking behind a bunch of prints, I saw one with a vibrant red orange colour. I picked it out and it immediately reminded me of Hodgkin’s lithograph: And for £2.50, I’ll take it!
P.S. If you’re confused as to what the difference is amongst the various types of prints, the fair’s website gives a brief description with examples here. Even I had to refresh my memory and even learned some new ones. But I do know of intaglio prints because my brother created a few.