The 28th London Original Print Fair closed with 50 exhibitors reporting strong sales and record visitor numbers. The fair welcomed some 13,000 visitors during the four-day event, a record for the fair and the atmosphere in the Main Galleries of the Royal Academy was busy and celebratory.
“Printmaking is a diverse and thoroughly absorbing discipline with a rich history, and the London Original Print Fair is a… highpoint in the art calendar…” Ben Luke, London Evening Standard, 24 April 2013
LOPF is a favourite for both new and established collectors, offering original prints from the early woodcuts of Dürer and his contemporaries, to the graphic work of today’s artists such as David Hockney and Tracey Emin. The variety of works and periods on show at the 2013 fair offered visitors a comprehensive overview of the history of printmaking.
Helen Rosslyn, Director of LOPF, commented “As a specialist fair, we are able to bring together really high quality work from all periods. Our exhibitors hold back their best stock for the fair and the contemporary dealers, studios and print publishers bring work that is hot off the press, making each fair completely cutting edge. Because of our close links with the RA and representation of around 50 Royal Academicians by our exhibitors, artists pop in and out of the fair unannounced and this creates a really special atmosphere, as visitors are often able to meet the people who make the prints they are buying. Likewise, visitors are able to explore works from all over the world and given an insight into works coming out of countries such as Finland, Italy and Germany.’
Sales were reported across the board, from all periods and in all price brackets. In the field of Old Masters, Christopher Mendez sold his portrait engraving after a lost painting by Rubens to an English private collector and Elizabeth Harvey-Lee sold over 50 prints. Andrew Edmunds sold his rare c.18th mezzotint portrait of Alexandre Dumas to one of London’s premier public collections. Galerie Fetzer and Gilden’s Arts Gallery sold work by Picasso, Chagall and Miró. Meanwhile, Sims Reed Gallery sold prints by iconic modern masters Howard Hodgkin and Roy Lichtenstein.
Contemporary prints are always in great demand. TAG Fine Arts sold a pair of Katsutoshi Yuasa woodcuts, Listen, nature is full of songs and truth to the Cleveland Museum of Art, America. Grayson Perry’s new etching, The Island of Bad Art, editioned by the Royal Academy Schools, sold out during the run of the fair.
Gordon Cooke, Chairman of the Fair and a Director of the Fine Art Society observed: “Back in the 1980s when we started out, visitors to a print fair were generally already print collectors, whereas now the audience we attract is much broader. This has been by far the Fine Art Society’s best fair, selling our three most prestigious prints and a whole range of others in addition.”
Exhibitor Emanuel von Baeyer commented “I am pleased to see such a diverse mix of new and established collectors at this year’s fair and to sell three of the large Lucian Freud etchings. An added bonus was meeting Freud’s model for these prints here.”
Old Master and Modern print dealer Frederick Mulder was overwhelmed by the response from new buyers.
“We were very excited to be able to sell a fine Picasso lithograph to a young couple who had never bought before. As founding members of LOPF we have been struck this year by the combination of returning clients and serious new collectors.”
Dreipunkt Edition from Munich said “It is always good to be in London, the heart of the print market, and we have sold work to the British Museum for two consecutive years.” Teo Berardinelli from Verona and Himmelblau Printmaking Finland, two new exhibitors, have already confirmed their intention to return to LOPF next year.