Peter Freeth RA has worked closely with Chris Orr RA to show a diverse selection of prints in this gallery. Observing that prints seem to be getting ‘bigger and bigger’, Freeth is proud of the range of subject-matter, and the brilliant colour and variety of scale of the works, a high proportion of which are by non-Academicians such as Paul Hawdon, Bella Easton and Catherine Sutcliffe. Several Academicians are also represented here, including Michael Sandle, Elizabeth Blackadder and Gillian Ayres. In the year of the London Olympic Games, the small, detailed wood engravings by Anne Desmet RA celebrate some of the key venues, and provide an extreme stylistic contrast to the vibrant screenprints of Joe Tilson RA. One area of special focus in this gallery is the artist’s book, an extraordinarily creative category of work that has been increasingly visible in recent Summer Exhibitions.
Installation view of Gallery I, Summer Exhibition 2012. Photo: John Bodkin.
Overall, there is a strong sense of organisation within the hang, which includes groups of smaller prints and larger abstract works, and has a particular emphasis on cityscapes. Freeth hopes that he and Orr have achieved their aim simply to ‘show the best work that has been sent in’.