This special exhibition featuring prints from the Print Council of Australia’s archival collection includes some of the first prints created by significant Australian artists, including the first Print Commissions, John Brack’s Untitled (Skaters), 1967, and Fred Williams’ Lysterfield, 1968, and the first Indigenous Australian Print Commission, Bush Figures by Ku Ku Imidji man Arone Raymond Meeks, along with works produced by PCA founders Grahame King and Udo Sellbach.
The Commission, which began in 1967, invites artists to submit a limited-edition print for consideration by the PCA and its members. This has resulted in an archive of more than 600 prints, illustrating the rich history of contemporary Australian printmaking.
Works of master printers and innovators including Noel Counihan, Barbara Hanrahan, David Rose, Ray Beattie, Bea Maddock, Earle Backen, Ruth Faerber, Hertha Kluge-Pott, Olga Sankey, Judy Watson, Janet Dawson, Mary MacQueen, Raymond Arnold, G.W. Bot, Yvonne Boag, James Taylor, John Coburn, Jenuarrie Warrie, Maria Kozic, Wilma Tabacco, Rick Amor, Treahna Hamm, Robert Jacks, Bruno Leti, John Olsen, Michael Kempson, Susan Pickering, Andrew Ngungarrayi Martin, Belinda Fox, Georgia Thorpe, Gracia Haby & Louise Jennison, Gosia Wlodarczak, Rebecca Mayo, Janet Parker-Smith, Rona Green, Sophia Szilagyi, Glen Mackie, Tama Favell, Elizabeth Banfield, David Fairbairn, Graeme Drendel, Deanna Hitti, Sue Poggioli, Maria Orsto, Samuel Tupou, Pia Larsen, Deborah Klein, Cat Poliski, Heather Koowootha and Glenda Orr will also be on show, as will a diverse range of printing techniques representing styles from the late 1960s: from relief printing (carving into lino or wood where recessed areas don’t hold ink and transfer to paper ink-free) to intaglio (etching, engraving, aquatint, drypoint, mezzotint) and planographic (lithography and screen-printing) as well as digital printing.
While the exhibition is mostly Print Council of Australia works — fifty-eight works — the remainder are from the Australian Parliament House Art Collection, including two new acquisitions, linocuts by artist Jenny Kitchener, recipient of the 2017 Print Council Commission.
The Print Council of Australia was established in Melbourne in 1966 by printmakers Udo Sellbach, Grahame King and curator Dr Ursula Hoff to promote the artform of printmaking. The 1940s–60s had seen the return to Australia of European-trained artists, sparking a resurgence in the importance of printmaking and its commercial viability.
(Print Council of Australia)