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ICA Anniversary Print Portfolio 2008 Available June 2
Ryan Gander, Ekow and abacus exploring the dungeon, 2008, Photographic print on paper (from a watercolour illustration by Mark Beesley), 50 x 40cm. Courtesy of the artist and STORE, London.

LONDON.- The ICA Anniversary Print Portfolio 2008 is a set of six limited-edition prints commissioned from six British and international artists; figures who the ICA has developed special relationships with and who, it believes, are helping to define the art practice of the future. The artists are Carol Bove, Peter Coffin, Ryan Gander, Judith Hopf, Rosalind Nashashibi and Tomas Saraceno. The portfolio is produced in an edition of sixty, in a beautiful custom-made box. The prints employ a variety of techniques and media, measure 40cm x 50cm and are signed and numbered (with 10 artist’s proofs). The portfolio is available from 2 June for the special launch price of £950 including VAT (£850 for ICA Members). The portfolio part of the ICA’s ongoing 60th anniversary celebrations and fundraising initiatives, and all proceeds go to support the ICA’s future exhibition programme.

Mark Sladen, director of exhibitions at the ICA commented: “To me these six artists represent the future. Some of them are people with whom the ICA already has a relationship – developed through projects such as Beck’s Futures – while others are new to our programme, and all of them give us some sense of where art is going. Each of the artists has generously donated work to the Anniversary Print Portfolio, thus helping to ensure that the ICA will be able to continue its support for emerging art and artists.”

Carol Bove’s work draws on the philosophies and aesthetics of the 1960s and early 70s. Since 2001 the artist has made a number of wall-based string drawings, and her silkscreen work for the ICA – which is printed in saffron – is based on a work from this series. Bove sees in these string drawings an interesting parallel with instruction-based conceptual artworks of the 1960s – even though they come from a very different, and craft-based, tradition.

The silkscreen print by Peter Coffin is related to a series of sculptures by the artist, entitled Sculpture Silhouette Props, which recreate iconic 20th Century sculptures in two-dimensional cut-outs. The artist says that these works “turn timeless icons into mirrors of sorts” and that, “by reconsidering a history of progressive and avant-garde advances in culture, I propose that we are not at the tail end of history… but instead, I urge that we are very much in the midst of a history still being written, and continually rewritten.”

The works of Ryan Gander draw on a wide range of fields including art, design and literature, often appropriating existing works or formats to create fictional histories. Gander’s print is a photograph of a watercolour illustration by Mark Beesley that portrays the ICA’s artistic director, Ekow Eshun, carrying an abacus and a torch in the basement of the organisation. The image was inspired by a children’s illustration of a child exploring a haunted castle.

Judith Hopf has worked in a wide range of media including video, drawing, performance and installation, offering an absurdist – and ultimately utopian – exploration of everyday conventions and accepted artistic forms. Her silkscreen print (realised with the help of fellow artist Martin Ebner) was inspired by the work of Bridget Riley, whose style is here unexpectedly used to depict a nose.

Rosalind Nashashibi is best known for her film works, quasi-documentary pieces which have often taken the form of portraits of individuals or environments, and which are always highly melancholic in nature. Nashashibi has also made a number of collages, and her mixed media print is based on one such work, and is itself made using a collage technique. The artist says that the work “is a sort of wish or fantasy self-portrait and simultaneously a portrait of a friend.”

Tomas Saraceno is involved in an ongoing exploration of airborne communities as a solution to the world’s exploding population. In 2006, in a commission for the Barbican Centre, London, Saraceno travelled to the world’s largest salt lake, Salar de Uyuni in Bolivia. Saraceno’s photograph captures a sensation that is created in this extreme environment: that of an immersion in the clouds.

Sales enquiries: For sales enquiries: call 020 7766 1452; see; or visit the ICA Bookshop. The works are on show in the ICA’s Concourse 2 June – 2 November.

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