Until January 2021, date to be confirmed
This series of gloriously rich screenprints is based on a late 14th century mystical poem about Sir Gawain – one of King Arthur’s legendary Knights of the Round Table – and the quest he is sent on by the mysterious Green Knight. The prints capture the complex narrative and symbolism of the tale, through vibrant colours and forms that are decorative, yet almost heraldic, in their boldness and stylisation.
Clive Hicks-Jenkins made the series of fourteen screen prints over the course of two years, basing the works on Simon Armitage’s 2007 translation of the poem. The printing work was a collaboration with Daniel Bugg – whose Penfold Press produced and published the editions of prints – and the prints are accompanied by art historian James Russell’s insightful observations on the images. The exhibition includes some of the studies and paintings made in the process of creating the prints.
“Each screenprint is constructed from many layers of transparent ink, all carefully aligned and overprinted to make the complete image. Initially I make each layer of the artwork on a transparent sheet of lithographic film. There are up to twelve layers per print, and they’re rendered only in black and red as the intended colours don’t enter the equation until the printing stage. Once the layers of film for a print have been completed, each is transferred to a micromesh ‘screen’ by Dan. Inks are mixed according to sample colours I produce, and the printing begins. No-one really has a clear idea of how anything will look until the image begins to emerge, layer by layer from the printing press. It can feel like magic.” Clive Hicks-Jenkins, October 2017
Clive Hicks-Jenkins was born in Newport, South Wales, in 1951. In the early part of his career, he was a choreographer and stage director. In the 1990s he turned away from theatre to concentrate on his underlining passion for painting.
His work has been praised by critics in The Independent, Modern Painters and Art Review. Simon Callow has called him ‘one of the most individual and complete artists of our time’, and Nicholas Usherwood in Galleries has described his work as ‘reflective, expressive painting of the highest order.’