This is hot off the press (pardon the pun)–not even officially on our website yet! WPG is finalizing details for our January Invitational Bewick’s Legacy: Six Contemporary British Wood Engravers. This exhibition is curated by wood engraver Simon Brett, who also has work in the exhibition. Read on to learn about Simon in his own words (an excerpt from the catalog text) and see an example of one of his beautiful prints that will be included in this show!
I learned about wood engraving from Clifford Webb at London’s Saint Martin’s School of Art in the 1960s. I mainly studied painting, but, after early travel as a painter to New Mexico and Provence, engraving took over, beginning with bookplates and ephemera and graduating to book illustration for private and specialist presses. Work for the Folio Society includes Shakespeare, Keats and Shelley; Jane Eyre, Amelia, Clarissa and Middlemarch; Marcus Aurelius, Augustine, and the legends of the Grail and of the Ring. I started with religious books and have been called an heir to Gill and David Jones – hardly the case, but I do try to exercise a ‘religious sensibility’ in the sense of seeking the deepest echo in any text I am given to work on. Hilary Paynter asked me to be the second chairman (1986-92) of the revived Society of Wood Engravers. Curating shows and writing books has defined ‘the way I fit in’ to the wood engraving world ever since. The books include a world-wide survey, An Engraver’s Globe, and Wood Engraving: How To Do It, which will be republished shortly in its 3rd edition.
About the print above left: The variations on Marcus Aurelius are based on photographs of surviving sculptures. They are from a set of thirteen done as illustrations to a Folio Society edition.
This exhibition will run January 4-30. Please check back here or our upcoming exhibitions page for more information coming shortly!