Editions Alecto: A Fury for Prints presents the art scene of 60s and 70s Britain, viewed through the activities of the most important print publishers of the day. The exhibition features work by many leading British artists of the past 40 years, including David Hockney, Eduardo Paolozzi, Patrick Caulfield and Allen Jones.
Editions Alecto were pioneering print publishers who produced and sold contemporary artists' prints in Britain during the 1960s and 1970s. During this period Britain made a significant contribution to European and American Pop Art, much of it through the medium of printmaking. Editions Alecto were at the centre of this movement, promoting the idea that painters and sculptors should have the freedom to originate and realise their ideas in multiple form. Easy to distribute to a wide audience, graphics now became a serious and marketable medium for artists and sculptors. As a result, these decades saw the production of some of the most influential graphic images of the twentieth century.
Originally set-up as a small-scale venture in 1960 by two students at Cambridge, Paul Cornwall-Jones and Michael Deakin, Editions Alecto soon underwent expansion. Joined by university contemporaries, Mark Glazebrook and Joe Studholme, the company moved to London in 1962 where it began commissioning and selling graphics by a growing number of contemporary artists. Editions Alecto also recognised the potential in a new generation of young artists who had already begun to capture media attention, and started to promote fresh talent emerging from London and regional art schools.
By streamlining the process of production and distribution of artists' prints in the UK, Editions Alecto supported the creation of some of the most iconic images in post-war British art. The company's first major publishing success, A Rake's Progress, helped launch the career of David Hockney, who travelled to California for the first time on the money he received for the sixteen etchings. Other landmark projects for the artists involved were Allen Jones' Concerning Marriages, Eduardo Paolozzi's As is When and Patrick Caulfield's first untitled screen-print series. These will be displayed alongside images by other artists whose work is equally evocative of this groundbreaking period, including Richard Hamilton, Bridget Riley and Gillian Ayres. The work of American artists is represented by prints by Jim Dine, Claes Oldenburg and Ed Ruscha, also published by Editions Alecto.