All the world’s a stage

While Shakespeare may be more associated with words than images, this Friday will see the opening of a display of visual responses to the man dubbed ‘really very good – in spite of all the people who say he is very good’ by poet Robert Graves.

An Gee Chan - MIdsummer night's dream, Screenprint, 2011

Source: © The Artist/Royal College of Art

An Gee Chan – MIdsummer night’s dream, Screenprint, 2011

Celebrating the Royal Shakespeare Company’s 50th birthday, the Folio exhitbion at the Royal college of Art will feature two bodies of work spanning from the bard’s quart-centenary to the present.

Dick Jewell – Shakespeare The Complete Works, Four colour Photo lithograph, 2011

Source: © The Artist/Royal College of Art

Dick Jewell – Shakespeare The Complete Works, Four colour Photo lithograph, 2011

The series of 1964 lithograph works were created by the RCA Printmaking Department, including works from artists and printmakers including Joe Tilson, Allen Jones, Elizabeth Frink, Norman Ackroyd and Sandra Blow.

Bernard Cheese – Shakespeare’s Kings, Lithograph, 1964

Source: © The Artist/Royal College of Art

Bernard Cheese – Shakespeare’s Kings, Lithograph, 1964

Bringing the story back up to the present day, a new set of prints will be shown from RCA Printmaking students and staff, as well as invited artists including Bob & Roberta Smith, Adam Dant and Christiana Baumgartner.

Bob and Roberta Smith - Untitled, Screenprint, 2011

Source: © The Artist/Royal College of Art

Bob and Roberta Smith – Untitled, Screenprint, 2011

The 21st century bunch was invited to the RSC to get an exclusive peek at their rehearsals and productions from behind the scenes. The resulting works take their inspiration from Shakespeare’s original language, as well as more modern cues such as the digitisation of his works.

George Eksts - Untitled, Screenprint, 2011

Source: © The Artist/Royal College of Art

George Eksts – Untitled, Screenprint, 2011

Artist Joe Tilson, whose original 1964 print was inspired by Shakespeare’s XV Sonnet, says, ‘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.

Joe Tilson – Shakespeare’s XV Sonnet, Lithograph, 1964

Source: © The Artist/Royal College of Art

Joe Tilson – Shakespeare’s XV Sonnet, Lithograph, 1964

‘It’s fascinating to see the print again 47 years later and I’m pleased it’s being exhibited at the RSC and re-printed for the portfolio.’

Justyna Kabala - Lady Macbeth, Photo lithograph, 2011

Source: © The Artist/Royal College of Art

Justyna Kabala – Lady Macbeth, Photo lithograph, 2011

Folio runs from 20 – 25 October at the Royal College of Art, Kensington Gore, London SW7

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