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International silkscreen prints feature 38 years apart in the Chartwell Collection

Chartwell Collectio - Alun Leach-Jones 'Sukra'

Coming up to the end of its 38th year of collecting contemporary New Zealand and Australian art – with some other international additions, it has been timely to look at the latest of acquisitions in 2012 and the very first ones in 1974.

The first work to enter the collection that year was Alun Leach Jones’ work, Sukra, a silk screen print purchased from Bonython Galleries, Melbourne, Australia. Leach Jones’ is recognised as one of Australia’s leading abstract colour painters and was included in the famous 1968 exhibition that focused on abstraction in Melbourne titled The Field. As noted on www.artcollector.net.au, ‘Leach-Jones established a formidable reputation as a printmaker, working with master printmakers including Larry Rawling, Diana Davidson and Michelle Perry. Silk screen printing was the perfect medium for dealing with his interest in flat areas of colour, but he has also worked in lithography, etching and lino cuts. He has completed well in excess of 150 editions of prints in his career. One of his notable silk screen prints employed 73 different colours, which was considered to be a world record for a silk screen print by a major artist.’

Chartwell Collection - John Baldessari 'Learn to Dream'

One of the latest works to enter the Chartwell Collection, in 2012, is also a silkscreen print by another major artist – US artist John Baldessari. Learn To Dream, a silkscreen print was made by the artist in 2011.

As Isha Welsh of 1301PE, Los Angeles writes: “This work repeats a directive Baldessari has used throughout his career: "Learn to Dream." These words are placed across horizontal bands of yellow, black, cyan, and light blue, and rendered in the typeface 'Churchward Montezuma 96 Extra Bold' designed by New Zealand typographer Joseph Churchward. Baldessari has come back to this phrase multiple times in different formats: most recently on a billboard in New Zealand for ARTSPACE, and on T-shirts for the Trespass Parade in downtown Los Angeles. In contrast to the common characterization of dreaming as something that happens unconsciously, or when we lose focus (daydreaming), Baldessari encourages us to actively dream, to deliberately engage with the creative, the irrational, and the hopeful.

John Baldessari was one of the founders of the conceptual art movement in California in the 1960's. His art has been featured in more than 200 solo exhibitions in the U.S. and Europe and in over 750 group exhibitions. A major retrospective of his work, Pure Beauty, opened at the Tate Modern in October 2009 and traveled to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, Museu d'Art Contemporani in Barcelona and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Baldessari was awarded the Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement at the 2009 Venice Biennale. His recent exhibition at 1301PE, John Baldessari: Not Prints: Posters 1966-2010, was the first comprehensive exhibition of his artist-designed exhibition posters. The first volume of his Catalogue Raisonné was released in May 2012 from Yale University Press.”

Image: Alun Leach Jones, Sukra, c 1973.

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