Exhibition of Modern British prints at Osborne Samuel commemorates centenary of WWI

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Exhibition of Modern British prints at Osborne Samuel commemorates centenary of WWI
Sybil Andrews, In Full Cry, 1931. Linocut. Printed from 3 blocks. 29 x 42 cm.

LONDON.- Osborne Samuel announces an exhibition of Modern British Prints, on view at the gallery and again at The London Original Print Fair at the Royal Academy of Arts. Celebrating its 29th year in 2014, the event is the world’s longest-running fair devoted exclusively to prints.

To commemorate the centenary of the outbreak of World War One, Osborne Samuel is presenting an important collection of prints produced between 1914-1918. The years of conflict and horror served as a backdrop for some of the most poignant images of the 20th Century: works by CRW Nevinson, Paul Nash and Edward Wadsworth show the impact of war on the avant-garde.

Nevinson’s Banking at 4000 Feet was part of a set of six lithographs commissioned by the Ministry of Information on the subject of Britain’s Efforts and Ideals: Building Aircraft. Also in the collection is a rare set from the same series by Eric Kennington titled Making Soldiers. Wadsworth’s SS Jerseymoor presents a ship covered in ‘dazzle camouflage’, a design of abstract patterning painted on merchant and war ships to deflect the accurate aim of U-Boat torpedoes.

The collection also includes a group of prints by the Canadian / American artist Kerr Eby, who first served in the war as an ambulance driver, and subsequently worked on camouflaging the big guns on the front line. The first set of his war prints were made in 1919 from drawings and sketches that he sent home, working them up into etchings or lithographs when he was demobbed. His images of the war are arguably some of the most moving depictions of that dreadful conflict.

Alongside the World War One collection, Osborne Samuel will present a series of iconic modernist linocuts from The Grosvenor School. The gallery is the leading international dealership in these highly sought-after works, which were produced by artists who studied under Claude Flight in the late 1920s and early 1930s at the Grosvenor School of Modern Art in London’s Pimlico district. The collection will include significant works by well-known members of the group such as Cyril Power, Sybil Andrews and Ethel Spowers, as well as lesser-known artists such as Ronald Grierson, Leonard Beaumont and Edith Lawrence.

This autumn Osborne Samuel will be mounting a major exhibition titled CRW Nevinson - A Printmaker in War and Peace (25 September - 15 October 2014), which will be the most comprehensive exhibition of Nevinson’s prints since the Leicester Galleries exhibition in 1977, the Kettle’s Yard Retrospective Exhibition of Paintings, Drawings and Prints and the Imperial War Museum’s exhibition of CRW Nevinson - The Twentieth Century in 1999/2000. The exhibition will coincide with the launch of a new book titled CRW Nevinson - The Complete Prints, compiled and written by Dr Jonathan Black and co-published by Lund Humphries and Osborne Samuel.

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