From the 23rd to the 26th of April 2015, the Royal Academy of the Arts will be holding its annual London Print Fair, the biggest of its kind in Europe and the longest running arts fair in London.
Over 50 exhibitors will be displaying their collections of etchings, prints, engravings, aquatints, mezzotints, lithographs, silkscreens… and more besides that you may never even have known existed. Spanning over 500 years and coming from every corner of the globe, there will be representatives from the world’s foremost galleries networking alongside independent collectors and enthusiasts keen to start or expand their ownership. There will also be an extensive amount of printing equipment on show as well, from today’s digital technologies right back to the copper plates and wooden components of earlier times, some of which are becoming increasingly difficult to find outside initiatives such as these.
As this is the 30th anniversary of the Print Fair, there will also be 30 special prints on loan from the private collection the Royal Academy - including works created by royals themselves, such as Queen Victoria and Prince Albert. This is your chance to see prints by old Masters Whistler, Rembrandt and Raphael, amongst others, as well as contemporary artists including Bacon and Warhol. From maps and portraits to depictions of historical events and recreations of classics, this promises to be an enlightening and instructive event, which will also feature lectures, interactive discussion sessions and even screen printing classes so you can try your own hand at playing the printer.
Housed in Lord Burlington’s palace, the Royal Academy itself is a beautiful building and exhibition space. Founded in 1768, it also encompasses the UK’s leading art school and is run by a fully charitable organisation that supports new and emerging artists as well as providing a home for more established professionals. Indeed, at the Print Fair some of the RA’s own alumni will be on show, including the late Pop Artist Richard Hamilton. Hamilton originally graduated from the RA in 1940 before going on to study engineering, then returned to the Academy only to be expelled for not taking full advantage of the painting courses - and perhaps this proves why? His iconic prints from the ‘Swingeing London’ range will feature here alongside other uplifting British standard-bearers David Spiller and Eric Ravilious, and of course a whole host of international talent.
The Royal Academy is just a short walk from Piccadilly Circus, meaning you’ll be around the corner from Amba Hotel Charing Cross too - so definitely make sure you don’t miss out on this inspiring event!