Buying a print can be a way to collect an artist when owning an original is out of reach, and Eleven fine art gallery has made it its business to encourage artists to produce and release prints as a way of making their work accessible to a wider audience. Its new show, Printed Matter (April 1 to May 7), exhibits examples from Grayson Perry, Peter Blake, Michael Craig-Martin, Faile, Sarah Hardacre, Natasha Law, Harland Miller, Julian Opie, Keith Tyson, Jonathan Yeo and Charming Baker, offering something for budgets from £150 up to £28,000.
Perry’s intricate etching from 2008 is the crowning glory. Named Map of Nowhere (£28,000 framed, edition of 68), it riffs on Utopian texts by William Morris and Thomas More, and is classic, contemporary, complex, and accessible all at once.
A print by portraitist Yeo, made this year, is titled Cara I (Goggles) (£1,800 unframed, £2,030 framed, edition of 60, first picture), after the model and actress Cara Delevingne, and shows its familiar subject as an inquisitive nerd rather than the glamorous face of fashion.
Another recently created image on show is Tyson’s International Swingers (£1,750 unframed, £2,050 framed, edition of 10, second picture) from his Studio Wall Drawings series; its colourful blooms in a vase are rendered unusual by the drips of paint falling from certain petals, giving the image a trippy, melting reality quality.
Pop art includes Blake’s recent portfolio of tattooed people (£300 each, or £2,500 for unframed set of 10, edition of 150) and, just as titillating, Hardacre’s postmodern collages Damned Heat and Sublime Heat (£600 each unframed, £850 framed, editions of 20), which set retro topless girls in bikini bottoms outlined in a Swarovski crystal detail against council estates and Pantone skies.
Baker’s Half Pint Trial (proof) (£3,950, framed, unique edition) is a fashionably cute piece, while Craig-Martin’s bright 2012 pop prints from his Art & Design series (£12,000 unframed, £16,000 framed, edition of 50) are uplifting, modern, and will catch the eye of furniture enthusiasts.
Lastly, no cool cat will ever tire of the slogan, “Fuck Art, Let’s Dance”, especially when it’s followed by “Fuck Dancing, Let’s Fuck”, as in Miller’s 2011 print (£6,000, framed, edition of 50).