View this artwork by appointment, at Tate Britain's Prints and Drawings Rooms
London is a portfolio of eleven prints made by eleven artists based in London. It was commissioned by Charles Booth-Clibborn and published under his imprint, The Paragon Press, London. The images were printed and editioned at Coriander Studio, London. The portfolio was produced in an edition of sixty-five, the first forty of which are portfolio sets and the remainder are the artists' copies. A further fifteen sets were produced for artists and collaborators. Tate's copy is number five in the edition. The title and colophon pages were designed by Phil Baines using his own typeface. The portfolio is contained in a black buckram-covered wooden case bearing the title in yellow. London is the second group portfolio published by The Paragon Press since its inception in 1986. It was conceived as a portable group exhibition containing work by emerging artists of the same generation. There is no particular common theme. Factors linking some of them are studying art at Goldsmiths College, London in the late 80s (where they were taught by Conceptual artist Michael Craig-Martin, born 1941), working with Jay Jopling (who later opened White Cube Gallery in London) and being exhibited at the Saatchi and Karsten Schubert Galleries in London. Booth-Clibborn had already collected work by a number of the participating artists, few of whom had done any printmaking before embarking on the project. Most chose to work with screenprinting, with the exception of Langlands and Bell, whose image is embossed. Screenprinting is ideally suited to reproducing appropriated and photographic images. Its adoption reflects a characteristic use by young British artists (the group to which most of the London artists belong) of objects or images appropriated from everyday life. Individual prints vary in size, the type of paper used and the orientation of the image.
Fairhurst's image, When I Woke up in the Morning, the Feeling Was Still There, is a three-colour screenprint in portrait orientation. The 300gsm Somerset Satin paper is varnished, resulting in a glossy surface. The print relates to a series of four large colour photographic panels Fairhurst made in the same year, titled Man With Dream Colours (private collection). Each depicts a suited man sitting in a chair in the artist's studio holding a square canvas coloured red, blue, yellow or purple. The photographic panels are pierced by a grid of hundreds of coloured plastic tags of the sort used by garment retailers to attach prices. The print is based on the same scenario, using the same man, standing rather than sitting, in the same environment and without the tags. The photographic part of the image is in black and white with the canvas a blank white. Over this a square of yellow has been printed, deliberately mis-aligned with the borders of the canvas (in fact it is bigger than the white area underneath). Fairhurst has commented: 'I wanted to play on the mis-alignment of the hard form and the notion of feeling, both physical and emotional, which is something you cannot be so sure about' (quoted in Contemporary British Art in Print 1995, p.46). The title of the image is printed at the bottom of the sheet. In 1997, Fairhurst and Booth-Clibborn produced a nearly identical image with the same title as a series of four screenprints. In this later version, also titled When I Woke Up in the Morning, the Feeling was Still There, the colours red, green, yellow and blue are superimposed on the images numbered one to four respectively.
Angus Fairhurst, exhibition catalogue, Galerie Analix, B&L Polla, Carouge-Geneva 1992
Patrick Elliott, Jeremy Lewison, Contemporary Art in Print: The Publications of Charles Booth-Clibborn and his Imprint The Paragon Press, 1995-2000, London 2000, pp.124-9
Contemporary British Art in Print: The Publications of Charles Booth-Clibborn and his Imprint The Paragon Press 1986-95, exhibition catalogue, Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, Edinburgh 1995, pp.19 and 46-51, reproduced (colour) p.47
Jeremy Cooper, no FuN without U: the art of Factual Nonsense, London 2000, pp.39-41, reproduced (colour) p.41
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