Hung by Eileen Cooper, this room celebrates the exceptional power and range of print-making today. Cooper’s own woodcuts are lively figurative images of bathing figures. But she responds to many other approaches. At one extreme, the room includes highly detailed, traditional pencil drawings of a bull and a horse. Michael Landy’s prints, which concentrate on plants and human faces, are more simplified and rely on linear contour alone.
Paula Rego’s image of a woman adrift in a coracle reasserts an emphasis on flesh-and-blood figuration. And Louise Bourgeois contributes a small drypoint and engraving of a baby and a butterfly enjoying a state of amiable - albeit vulnerable - co-existence.
Chris Orr RA, Black Dog at Tower Bridge. Paper cut relief Photo: John Bodkin
Chris Orr’s exhibits vary widely in style, from a very detailed etching to a paper cut relief called Black Dog at Tower Bridge. Anthony Green displays a vigour worthy of George Grosz in his etching and inkjet print of Autumn Love. As for Gail Brodholt, her linocut Metroland recalls the inter-war years when Claude Flightmade his dynamic prints of travellers on the London Underground. Bill Jacklin’s monotype, catching the urgency of pedestrians crossing an urban square in a storm, is closely related to his paintings of similar themes. And Tracey Emin’s Space Monkey marks the triumphant moment when ‘we have lift off’.
But everyone distraught by credit-crunch life might find particular comfort in Liz Collini’s print, which insists in large letters that it really doesn’t matter at all.