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Saturday, 24 February 2018

The Grosvenor School Linocuts- a talk by Gordon Samuel

The first sell out talk of the year was a real eye opening excursion into the world of linocuts by Gordon Samuel, who has appreciated, collected and bought and sold them for years, firstly at the Redfern Gallery, and latterly at the Osborne Samuel Gallery. When the Redfern Gallery first opened in 1923, linocuts by Claude Flight were being sold for 5 guineas, now they can fetch up to £150,00.
Apparently in 1927 when Claude Flight wrote a book about linocuts, he said 'A linocut colour print should not look like an oil or watercolour painting, it's a print from a soft linoleum block and so it should not be taken as a woodcut, a wood engraving, or an etching, it should take its individual place on a wall and be recognised as a linocut'.

The Grosvenor School of Modern Art was a private British art school. It was founded in 1925 by the Scottish wood engraver Iain Macnab in his house at 33 Warwick Square in Pimlico, London. From 1925 to 1930 Claude Flight ran it with him, and also taught linocutting there; among his students were Sybil Andrews, Cyril Power and Lill Tschudi. Thanks to Wikipedia for the concise summary.
If you click on the link, you'll find lots of images of linocuts.
I took a few photos during the talk, they are atmospheric
 Gordon explained how linocuts are made, with slides to show us the stages to achieve 3 or 4 colours.

 The linocuts Gordon showed us on the screen were fantastic, for their depiction of everyday London scenes, movement in sport and leisure and workers in the landscape.
 Above 'Gymnastic Exercise by Lill Tschudi and below 'In Full Cry' by Sybil Andrews
 'The Eight' by Cyril Power in 1930 is a beautiful image
 It's hard to pick out favourites, The Escalator' was also a particularly lovely linocut, also by Cyril Power.
 After the talk, people stayed around for a while chatting, and having more drinks.

 A great start to our 2018 season of talks. Thank you to Gordon Samuel for providing such a great insight into the history of linocuts and showing us such memorable images.

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