The Printed Line

6 April 2019 - 8 May 2022

This exhibition considers how artists have used a variety of printmaking techniques to exploit the potential of the printed line, from the thick velvety line of drypoint and the heavy cross-hatching of etching to delicate wood engraving and boldly coloured screenprints and lithographs. Spanning the 20th century and up to the present day, the exhibition will include Walter Sickert's masterly cross-hatched etching The Old Middlesex (c.1910), Ben Nicholson's rich drypoint Halse Town 1949 (1949), Eduardo Chillida's bold etchings and David Hockney's pared down linear etchings in Illustrations for Fourteen Poems from C. P. Cavafy (1966-67). The use of colour will be explored in screenprints by Bridget Riley and Kenneth Martin, as well as Simon Patterson's witty lithograph reworking of the lines of the London tube map.

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6 April – 2 June 2019, Torre Abbey Museum, Torquay

6 July - 8 September, Dick Institute, Kilmarnock

21 September – 9 November, Rugby Art Gallery and Museum

16 Nov 2019 – 5 Jan 2020, Aberystwyth Arts Centre

11 January – 1 March 2020, Burton Art Gallery, Bideford 

19 September – 14 November, City Museum & Art Gallery, Worcester

30 November 2020 - 23 January 2021,  East Gallery, NUA, Norwich Cancelled

Rescheduled showings:

17 May - 17 July 2021, Kirkby Gallery, Knowsley 

24 July - 10 Oct 2021, The Beaney, Canterbury 

23 Oct 2021 - 15 Jan 2022, Inverness Museum & Art Gallery 

19 Feb - 8 May 2022, The Granary Gallery, Berwick 


Explore this Exhibition

Professor Paul Coldwell presents an introduction to the four main printmaking techniques found in Arts Council Collection Touring Exhibition, The Printed Line, exploring the tools and techniques used and demonstrating the differing characteristics particular to each approach.


Using examples of artworks from the Arts Council Collection, including Pablo Picasso, Lucian Freud and Rachel Whiteread, the film explores how each printmaking process makes different demands on the artist and allows for a huge range of approaches to mark-making.

An Arts Council Collection film produced with kind support of Camberwell College of Arts, University of the Arts London.

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