Alan Cristea, who worked with Patrick Caulfield from the early 1970s until the death of the artist in 2005, presents a retrospective survey of the artist’s original prints in his gallery from 5 June - 13 July 2013 to coincide with Tate Britain’s retrospective exhibition of Caulfield’s paintings. As well as eleven paintings, Tate owns all 113 screenprints made by Caulfield between 1964 and 1999 – his entire printed works. All of these prints are illustrated and documented in the official catalogue raisonné published by the Alan Cristea Gallery in 2000.
The exhibition begins with the artist’s first print, Ruins, 1964, which was commissioned by the ICA in London as part of a portfolio of 14 prints by artists such as Paolozzi, Hamilton Hockney etc. The portfolio was instrumental in raising awareness of screenprinting as a legitimate fine art medium and in promoting the reputations of young artists who were to become of major importance in the development of contemporary art in Britain.
Although both the portfolio and Caulfield himself were identified with Pop Art, he consistently rejected the tag, feeling that his work lay in a European tradition running from Delacroix through Cezanne to Cubism and artists such as Gris, Braque and Picasso. Indeed his last painting, now owned by Tate, is a homage to Georges Braque, and his last print, Les Demoiselles d’Avignon vues de Derriere, 1999, constituted a tongue in cheek homage to one of Picasso’s most famous paintings. When Alan Cristea asked him why he had chosen the subject, he famously answered “I have been haunted by that painting throughout my life and I needed to exorcise the ghost”.
Patrick Caulfield was born in London, UK in 1936. He began his studies at Chelsea School of Art in 1956, joining the School one year group below many of the originators of Pop art. He later attended the Royal College of Art in the early 60s, where he studied alongside David Hockney and Allen Jones. Caulfield’s far-reaching influence can be seen in the practice of artists such as Julian Opie, as well as in the worlds of graphic design and illustration. Selected solo exhibitions include: Dovecot Studios, Edinburgh (2010); the Alan Cristea Gallery, London (2009, 2005,1999); Royal Academy, London (2006); Tate Gallery Liverpool (2006); Waddington Galleries, London (2002); Hayward Gallery, London (1999); Musee National d’Histoire et d’Art, Luxembourg (1999); Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, Lisbon (1999); Yale Center for British Art, Connecticut (1999).