Cutting Edge

On June 19, the latest exhibition at Dulwich Picture Gallery, Cutting Edge: Modernist British Printmaking, will open. Featuring over 120 works, the exhibition will shine a spotlight on a brief but intense period of printmaking that took place in London during the interwar period.

With works from the School’s teacher, Claude Flight, as well as nine of his students, the exhibition will feature a variety of different styles; with a central medium of linocut uniting the artists throughout. Linoprinting was an inexpensive and accessible medium. Flight had a social vision with his teaching and described linocuts as ‘an art of the people for their homes’, aiming for them to be affordable to all.

Many areas of every-day life in the 1930s were depicted by the students of the school, and artists including Cyril Power, Sybil Andrews, Leonard Beaumont and Dorrit Black explored themes and from work, leisure, sport and agriculture.

Several of Sybil Andrews’ works focus on clothing, texture and pattern. Flower Girls, 1934, depicts women in shawls and hats busily going about their work with large woven baskets scooped underneath their arms. Figures in a later work by Andrews, Coffee Bar, 1952, almost echo these outfits, with an in-depth focus on the repeated patterns on their clothing and updated styles of headwear. Textiles, for Andrews, appear to have provided a distinct visual quality when producing her linocuts.

The medium, which extraordinarily saw students of the Grosvenor School crafting with bicycle spokes and spoons, has fluctuated in popularity. However, the unification of these artists in their education and artistic practice proves prevalent today. The exhibition, curated by Gordon Samuel, takes place at Dulwich Picture Gallery - often recognised for its revelatory approach in bringing unknown artists to the forefront.

19 June - 8 September 2019, Dulwich Picture Gallery, Gallery Road, London SE21 7AD, UK

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