RCA collaboration to celebrate 50th birthday

20 January 2011

RSC and the Royal College of Art collaborate on an exhibition of prints to celebrate the RSC's 50th birthday

Folio is an exhibition of prints from the Royal College of Art, created in response to Shakespeare, and features original work from 1964 when the RCA Printmaking Department made a series of lithographs to mark Shakespeare's quarto-centenary.

The 1964 archive prints include work from several acclaimed artists and printmakers including Joe Tilson, Elisabeth Frink, Sandra Blow and Norman Ackroyd. The complete set of 26 prints was originally exhibited at the RSC's Mermaid Theatre in London to commemorate William Shakespeare's birth in 1564. Now almost five decades later in celebration of the RSC 50th birthday, this work will once again be exhibited alongside a new body of work created by MA Printmaking students and staff from the RCA, as well as invited artists such as Adam Dant and Chantal Joffe. By bringing together old and new, the exhibition explores how artistic responses to Shakespeare and the medium of printmaking itself have changed and evolved over the past 50 years.

Artist Joe Tilson, whose original 1964 print was inspired by Shakespeare's XV Sonnet said:
"Shakespeare's sonnets are just as important now as they were then. The imagery and technique I chose to use was very different to the other artists and was technically quite difficult to produce in 1964. I used found images from magazines and newspapers, including astronauts and stars, which may have been influenced by my travels to the USA around the same time. It's fascinating to see the print again 47 years later and I'm pleased it's being exhibited and re-printed for the portfolio."

Visitors to the exhibition will be able to purchase the 2011 portfolio of prints as a limited edition box set and as individual prints.

The Folio exhibition is free of charge and is on display in the PACCAR Room, Royal Shakespeare Theatre from 15 April – 1 October 2011 and transfers to the Royal College of Art, London from 20 – 26 October 2011.


Further information

For more information on the RSC exhibition, please contact philippa.harland@rsc.org.uk

Details of this and other RSC 50 birthday celebrations: www.rsc.org.uk

For further information on the RCA and the Printmaking Department, please contact sue.bradburn@rca.ac.uk or 0207 590 4114

Notes to Editors
  • Images of some of the prints created for the original 1964 exhibition, including the Joe Tilson print, are available on request.
  • This year Jaguar celebrates the 50th anniversary of the E-Type, one of the most famous sports cars of all time. With the RSC celebrating its 50th birthday, the partnership between the two iconic British companies is a natural one and showcases British talent. Jaguar are pleased to support this exhibition as part of those birthday celebrations.

The Royal College of Art is the world's most influential postgraduate university of art and design, specialising in teaching and research and offering the degrees of MA, MPhil and PhD across the disciplines of fine art, applied art, design, communications and humanities. There are over 900 masters and doctoral students and more than a hundred professionals interacting with them – including scholars, leading art and design practitioners, along with specialists, advisors and distinguished visitors.

Website: www.rca.ac.uk

Issued: 20 January 2011

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