This remarkable exhibition spans the full fifty years of Julian Trevelyan's print making career and highlights the extraordinary diversity and technical ability of this master printmaker. Recognised as one of the most prominent and influential printmakers of the twentieth century, Royal Academician Julian Trevelyan (1910 - 1988) was an important innovator of modern printing techniques. By the late 1950s he was Head of the Etching Department at the Royal College of Art where he taught and inspired, amongst others Norman Ackroyd, David Hockney and RB Kitaj. Ackroyd later wrote:
Bohun Gallery's exhibition highlights Trevelyan's innovative approach to etching (he used lace curtains, hessian sacks and even fishnet tights to create patterned effects within his etchings) as well as the extraordinary breadth of his subject matter. A great traveller, Trevelyan's response to some of the world's greatest cities is presented including London, Paris, Florence and New York. No matter where his travels took him, he and his wife Mary Fedden always returned to their beloved Thames at Chiswick. The views up and down the river from his home at Durham Wharf, form the core of this varied collection. They show the daily comings and goings on the river, the swans, the gulls and the boats. The customs of the river Thames provided constant inspiration for the artist, articulated in his etchings of the 'Building of the Thames Barrage', 'Pleasure Steamer' and 'Henley Regatta'.
Established in 1973, Bohun Gallery has handled Julian Trevelyan's Estate since his death in 1988. The exhibition presents over 40 etchings, beginning with his early surrealist period of the 1930s, and charts his progression through the 20th Century. The breadth and quality validates this 20th Century master's artistic ambitions and presents a vibrant, colourful and exciting exhibition.
SELECTED QUOTES FROM THE ACCOMPANYING EXHIBITION CATALOGUE:
"It's the 'deliberate persistence in his own kind of sophisticated innocence' that makes Trevelyan's work such a visual tonic. His last big retrospective was at the Royal College in 1998. Time for another."
Laura Gascoigne, The Spectator
"Trevelyan's apprenticeship with Hayter laid the foundations for his distinguished career as a printmaker, especially in the 1960s-70s. This was when he began an excellent relationship with Bohun Gallery, which handles his estate; the gallery's Thames setting echoes that of his Chiswick home."
Jackie Wullschlager, The Financial Times
"He produced a series of images that challenge us with their simplicity; from his childhood drawings through to his extended swansong of etchings and paintings, his work seems to invite us to ask our own questions."
Philip Trevelyan "Picture Language"
"An enormous amount of work and desire goes into something so seemingly easy. I have, through my many years of teaching, often looked back and tried to analyse my time in Julian's etching class at the RCA as a template for what can be achieved."
Norman Ackroyd RA
"Trevelyan will be critically remembered for the responsive diversity of his art: the enthusiasm of his engagement with surrealism; the virtuosities of his collage landscapes; the purposeful stylisations of colour and form in his later painting; and for the brilliantly inventive originality of his printmaking. For all these changes of style and manner, what remained essential was his absolute commitment to art as the vehicle of imaginative truth in all its worldly manifestations. For Julian this required the vision of a knowing eye, and a hand freed of preconception and habit: a deliberate persistence in his own kind of sophisticated innocence."
"[Bohun Gallery's exhibition] finally confirms Julian Trevelyan's reputation as one of the most interesting and original painter and printmakers of his generation, a maverick independent belonging to no group but his own."
"It was from the etching room of the Royal College of Art from 1955 that he developed many special intaglio techniques, including combined textured grounds using found materials and objects, that have generally been credited to Hayter alone. He popularised the open bite method in this country and, on a short trip to Paris, a demonstration by Jacques Frelaut of a two-plate colour etching system so inspired him that he put the method into practice immediately on his return, advancing it in his work."
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