Printed at Kelpra shows the craftsmanship of Christopher Prater: the British master printer who, from the 1960s onwards, made screen prints for many famous English and American artists. This presentation includes screen prints from the museum’s collection which he made at the request of Bridget Riley, Gordon House, Joe Tilson, R.B. Kitaj, Peter Blake and Eduardo Paolozzi.
After spending several years acquiring experience with various printers in London, Prater opened his own graphics company in 1957; his idea was to produce commercial work. Kelpra refers to the owners: Rose KELly and her husband Christopher PRAter.
In 1961, Prater was approached by Gordon House with the request to make a screen print for him. This was the first time that Prater had made something for an artist. A year later, at the initiative of Richard Hamilton, Prater made screen prints of work by 24 British artists, affiliated to the Institute of Contemporary Arts (ICA) in London. These were completed in 1964 and formed a portfolio that was sold to raise money for the ICA. For many artists, this was their first encounter with the screen printing technique.
Some of them, including Tilson, Kitaj and Paolozzi, continued to work closely with Prater in the years following. In that period, Kelpra became a by-word for artists: a screen print had quality if it had been printed at Kelpra.