I decided to go see this exhibition as an afterthought…it was a toss up between Alex Katz and Soviet Russian illustrators…I chose Soviet Russian art purely based on the fact that it wouldn’t take too long to get there (journey time)…I was expecting a lot of Dadaism and political spiel as well as the fact that I would see amazing picture books…I love picture books! This exhibition has whet my appetite for more…I need to know more about lithography!!!!
At least 80% of the illustrations were lithographs…and I haven’t the foggiest how lithographs are created. And I intend to find out! There were amazing linocuts combined with watercolour, letterpress, gouache and ink illustrations, gouache and collage…now I want to get some gouache. I neglect gouache because I have this notion that the colours are not lightfast!! I’m beginning to realise that experimentation is key and I shouldn’t knock something till I have tried it…(need to stop making assumptions). I thought lithography was some long winded and very complicated printing process and gouache wasn’t worth paying out for tiny tubes of paint (that aren’t even lightfast).
“Books are to our time what cathedrals with their frescoes and stained glass were to ages past…Books have become the monuments of modernity”. (El Lissitzky)
To top it off, this exhibition was being shown in the House of Illustration..my first time ever of visiting this gallery set up by Quentin Blake and some renowned illustrators.
The Quentin Blake collection…what can I say? Amazeballs! Gobsmackingly so!
The gift shop stocks graphic novels by Neil Gaiman, a book written by Beatrix Potter and illustrated by Quentin Blake, books by Roald Dahl and so many interesting editions by contemporary illustrators. Right now, I’m buzzing…and looking forward to seeing the Alex Katz exhibition at the Serpentine Gallery, I’m sure that would be another very informative learning curve!