This renowned, accomplished artist was made a member of the Royal Scottish Academy in 1992, and in 1996 became a Royal Academician. She was awarded a CBE in 1999 and received an honorary Doctorate from Napier University (Edinburgh) in the same year.
Barbara Rae’s printmaking has been integral to her artistic activity since her student days. The way she conceives and works on her original limited edition silkscreens complements and informs her approach to painting. The discipline imposed by this media and the unique opportunities offered by them, create a set of possibilities, which stimulate her vision of the world, whether she is painting or making edition silkscreen, or simply observing.
Hughes had no formal art education and was largely self-taught. He became fascinated by paradoxes and visual trickery at a young age. In the 1970s and 80s he was inspired by rainbows, ‘A rainbow is a transitory event composed of water, air and light. I tried to give it a mass, permanence and personality.’ Hughes rainbows are the reverse of the romantic: hard-edged, leaning against walls, emerging from dustbins, posted through letter-boxes. They exemplify those qualities in art which he cherishes above all: the paradoxical, the absurd, the magical and the poetic.
The Appropriated Alphabets-portfolio consist of 12 signed limited edition silkscreen prints on paper with matt and gloss glazes, gold leaf, embossing, collage and metallic inks by Sir Peter Blake. His interest in letters and typography began whilst studying Art at Gravesend Technical College (1949-51); Blake was given a thorough grounding in a wide range of crafts including Roman lettering, hand lettering, typography and typesetting. The use of ‘found letters’ or commercial lettering in his work is something that Blake adopted in the 1950s; allying himself with decorators, sign painters and commercial artists rather than the fine art establishment: declaring himself a ‘pop’ artist.