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Print isn't dead - South Africa's First Print Fair

by Marilyn de Freitas posted on October 27, 2015.

Collin Cole & Dina Kroon, Iron 2, Drypoint (35 x 35cm)

Sharon Sampson Studio, in association with various professional printmakers and artists from around South Africa, is launching the inaugural South African Fine Art Print Fair (FAP), dedicated purely to print. The fair will be held at Africa's premier business school, GIBS (Gordon Institute of Business Science), Illovo, Johannesburg. Four of South Africa's top print studios and a Cape Town Gallery will be joining forces for the exhibition.

Sharon Sampson has hosted an annual print exhibition in association with the Artist Proof Studio for the past six years. As the event grew in enthusiasm and support, Sampson approached various print studios to establish the South African Fine Art Print Fair (FAP). The fair will feature professional printmakers and artists from The Artists' Press (Mark Attwood, White River), Artist Proof Studio (Bevan de Wet, Newtown), Blue Door Studio (Collin Cole, Parktown) and Sharon Sampson Studio (Illovo, Johannesburg). The South African Print Gallery in Cape Town, the only gallery in South Africa that focuses on works on paper, will also be exhibiting.

Left: Joshua Miles, Camps Bay Reduction, Woodblock (440 x 340mm) | Right: Laurel Holmes, Sentient III, Drypoint and monoprint (290 x 145mm)

Various fine art print fairs have been held internationally such as the London Original Print Fair, which was founded in 1985 and is the world's longest running specialist fair dedicated to prints as well as the Print Club of Cleveland Fine Print Fair which is in its 31st year. Print dealers serve a segment of the general art market and print dealers can be found in South Africa's major cities such as Johannesburg, Cape Town and Pretoria. Prints can also be found in various public and private art collections in South Africa. The South African Art Collection at the V&A Waterfront, established in November 2002, holds an extensive collection of over 350 unique African and South African prints. FAP is a celebration of prints and examines the role of printmakers in contemporary life. It will showcase an extensive range of fine art prints such as etchings, lithographs, linocuts, woodblocks, reduction woodblocks, serigraphy, collagraphs, drypoints, monotypes, mezzotints, chine colé and photo etching.

Visitors have an unrivaled opportunity to view and acquire contemporary limited edition fine art prints from South Africa's emerging and established artists such as Sam Nhlengethwa, Claudette Schreuders, Bevan de Wet, Joshua Miles, Theo Paul Vorster, Hanneke Benadé, Karin Daymond, Johann Louw, Collin Cole, Dumisani Mabaso, Judith Mason, John Moore, Nandipha Mntambo, Strijdom van der Merwe, Jan Tshikhuthula, Lebohang Sithole, Mongezi Ncapayi, Nkosinathi Ndlandla, Sizwe Khoza, Themba Khumalo, Laurel Holmes, Sharon Sampson and more.

Sithole Lebohang, From tuka, Monoprint (30 x 24cm)

Prints are often overlooked in favor of more approachable art forms such as painting or sculpture but fine art prints also offer viewers the opportunity to closely examine and appreciate what they have to offer by way of design, artistry, and the unusual techniques with which they are made. FAP aims to showcase printmaking as a fine art medium and as high a standard as painting and sculpture. Works range from R1 000 to over R40 000 and will appeal to both beginning and seasoned print collectors and art enthusiasts.

Highlights from the inaugural South African Fine Art Print Fair will include prints by well-known artists such as Claudette Schreuders, Diane Victor, Anton Kannemeyer as well as prints by Bevan de Wet that are over 4 metres in length. Artists will be available to discuss their work, offering visitors the opportunity to meet the maker and talk about techniques, processes and inspiration. Entry to the event is free. The fair will be open at GIBS from 29 October - 7 November 2015 between 10:00 - 16:00.



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