Seen as one of the most vibrant contemporary British portrait painter after having realized a 2013 exhibition in the London’s National Portrait Gallery, Jonathan Yeo emerged from an entirely self-taught background into prominence of unexpected measure. His innovative technical approach in portraiture is merged with ideas once propagated by Goya, whereas his portraits divert from the current flattery of instant photography. They are realistic and critical of the presented subjects, unapologetic and direct, while the style fantastically delivers the sometimes bitter message in the most delicate way.
Commemorating the launch of Lazarides Editions and the seven-year long period of the artist collaborating with the gallery, Lazarides in London announced Jonathan Yeo: The Print Retrospective exhibition at Sea Containers.
The first collaboration of Jonathan Yeo with Lazarides occurred in 2007, when a series of pornographically themed collages was featured, with much success. The interest in printmaking and editions came after the artist created an unauthorized portrait of George W. Bush, and issued it in 22 color screen prints. Being one of the most present techniques of Jonathan Yeo, collages were excellently saved in screen prints, and their visual integrity was preserved. This fact inspired the painter to engage in an explorative journey through the medium, experimenting with etching, layering, stencils, hand finish and digital print and formats.
The first Lazarides Editions exhibition this month will address the printmaking body of work by Jonathan Yeo, putting an emphasis on this, not as known area of his artistic activity. The show will focus on the acclaimed prints by Yeo, presenting over 30 various limited editions, as well as some new works made specifically for the show, along with a selection of rare and unseen prints. While Yeo’s Manchester show at the Lowry held earlier this year presented portraits of some of the most famous British and international figures, the print show will be in the middle, before the artist’s next museum show coming to Newcastle Laing Art Gallery.
Jonathan Yeo: The Print Retrospective will include an issue of a hand-finished monograph, marking an important moment in the artist’s career and presenting his proficiency in different media. Named The Many Faces of Jonathan Yeo, the art book will show crucial episodes of the painter’s creative path in the past several years, bringing his special leaf studies, lithographs and archival prints to light, which were made in cooperation with the studio and signed by Yeo. His prints are inspired by portraits he paints, but in the end they posses a different energy and visual suggestions, which make them unique and separate from canvas.
Lazarides’ retrospective of Yeo’s prints will open on November 20, running for a month, through December 20, 2014. The show will not only be the place to witness the evolving printmaking cycle of Jonathan Yeo, but also a place where the artist will be definitively legitimized as a prolific creative in multiple media.
Bristol, United Kingdom