WOW

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Published on the occasion of the exhibition of works on paper by thirty-eight 20th-century British women artists.

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Description

WOW – a collaboration between Liss Llewellyn and the Laing Art Gallery – showcases 38 British women artists working on paper between 1905 and 1975, a transformative period for women in the arts. The featured artists approached the medium in vari-ous ways, using traditional as well as innovative techniques to transform paper into beautiful and complex works of art. The exhibition celebrates the diversity of these approaches and highlights the ways in which paper provided artists with a rich arena for artistic innovation. Paper’s adaptability allows for a multitude of techniques. Using paper in its traditional role as a support for drawings and prints, or creating collage and sculpture, the fea-tured artists responded to the medium’s inherent qualities – malleable, smooth and sensuous – to test ideas, express feelings or create a finished work. It is often in the more formative moments that the works in this exhibition most resonate; through these studies we bear witness to the seed of an idea in germination, as in Clare Leigh-ton’s iconic Southern Harvest, or Evelyn Dunbar’s celebrated works for the War Artist’s Advisory Committee. Selecting hand-made, mould-made or machine-made papers in various weights, tex-tures and tints – depending on their intentions – artists worked with a variety of media from pencil, ink and pastel, to watercolour, tempera and oil, sometimes incorporating extraneous elements such as gold leaf and metallic forms. Working on monumental sheets, such as Winifred Knights’ cartoon for St Martin’s Altarpiece or tiny pages such as Edith Granger-Taylor’s Small Grey Abstract, women’s choices were nevertheless some-times dictated by circumstance: the propensity of Frances Richards and Tirzah Gar-wood – by no means isolated cases – to work on paper on a small scale was in part a result of not having access to a studio. From portraits, landscapes, botanical studies and genre scenes, many of the works in WOW highlight the artist’s skill and dexterity in drawing on paper, which was at the core of artistic training and practice. Some artists have used the traditional techniques of etching, screen printing and woodblock to create a diverse range of images. Others highlight the ethereal properties of paper through precise cuts, resulting in elaborate collages combining shapes, patterns and designs, or compact and manipulate paper to create inventive and surprising sculptures. Featuring both famous and lesser-known talents, WOW celebrates the many ways in which women artists expressed themselves through works on, and with paper and highlights their unique contribution to the graphic arts in 20th century Britain.

Additional information

Weight 0.348 kg
Dimensions 23 × 16.5 × 1.1 cm
Author

Publisher

Imprint

Cover

Paperback

Pages

96

Language

English

Edition
Dewey

704.0420941 (edition:23)

Readership

Professional and scholarly / Code: H