LONDON.- London Original Print Fair
2011, the longest-running Print Fair in the world drew a record number of visitors at the Royal Academy of Arts last week. The Fair got off to a flying start with the opening day bringing in the highest visitor figures to date.
Some 1,000 guests attended the eagerly awaited preview evening, where record sales provided a buoyant start to the three-day event. VIPs who visited the Fair included Sir Peter Blake, Grayson Perry and Jim Broadbent.
All 52 exhibitors reported a reassuring number of red stickers, proving that galleries and artists are continuing to strengthen their position in the market. A spokesperson for Andrew Edmunds described the event as being one of their 'strongest Fairs ever.'
Private dealer Frederick Mulder exhibited an exclusive anniversary display at the Fair - a collection of 40 portraits to mark 40 years in the print business. Mulder reported several sales of Picasso linocuts at around £5000 each, demonstrating that the market for important modern master prints is still strong. The impressive and extensive range of works on sale at the Fair varied from engravings by Hogarth to contemporary lithographs, drypoints and screenprints by artists such as Grayson Perry, David Hockney and Gary Hume.
The Fair also reported increased sales amongst young collectors. Newcomers Jealous Gallery and RA Editions, together with regular exhibitor Royal College of Art Printmaking sold works by Londons MA printmaking and fine art students. This coupled with a high attendance of the Young Collectors Evening confirmed exciting new trends across younger audiences.
Contemporary printmaker and YBA Gavin Turk opened the series of supporting events with a popular talk in the John Madejski rooms at the Academy, following which queues quickly formed at the Paul Stolper stand for the sale of his specially commissioned exclusive print Green Fright Wig.
Another popular event at the Fair this year for those keen to see how a print is actually made, was the demonstration of woodblock printing by artist Tom Hammick, a former winner of the Printmaking Prize at the RA Summer Show. To stimulate interest amongst the younger visitors during their school holidays, our two hands-on childrens workshops were a huge success. The programme of events was generously sponsored by Towry Wealth Management
Helen Rosslyn, Fair Director commented: There was a palpable sense of optimism when we closed our doors at the end of the Fair and a belief that the Fair has developed into a very significant event over the years.
She added: New visitors to the event are always impressed by the quality and diversity of work exhibited and the fact that the Fair offers the opportunity to see both established masters and new artists. The level of sales and the growing audience shows the solidity of the market for prints amongst new and established collectors and confirms that London is the place in Europe to stage an international print fair of this calibre.