RA Magazine | Matisse is Within Reach | Spring 2018


Few art lovers would believe they can own a work by the French genius for under a thousand pounds but, as Emma Crichton-Miller explains, the London Original Print Fair is a treasure trove of affordable prints by modern masters…

…London dealer Lyndsey Ingram was drawn to the market for quality original prints because, being most often multiples, they are much more affordable than comparable paintings. ‘I would rather have one of the best things that an artist has made – even if it is a multiple – than a lesser work in another medium just because I can afford it.’ She points out that ‘artists only bother to make a print if the image is really strong’. As she observes, ‘With few exceptions, almost all the brand-name artists – from Picasso to Damien Hirst – have had print programmes. The print market follows the painting market in a meaningful way.’ This market, she suggests, is based on how universally consumed the artists’ images are: ‘Francis Bacon was a reluctant printmaker and engaged very little with the process, yet his prints are highly desirable because his images are so powerful and, unlike his paintings, it is possible to buy them.’ From a buyer’s point of view, Ingram also points out that the print market is reassuringly dependable: ‘Things such as condition, provenance, colour etcetera do need to be checked but there will be enough that is similar between individual impressions of the same image to establish a price.’ Interestingly, she is bringing prints by major American figures – Frank Stella Hon RA, Ellsworth Kelly Hon RA, Donald Judd – to the Print Fair…

Above: Blue Nude, Hair, 1952, by Henri Matisse (lithograph after cut-out and gouache, on wove paper)