Adam Dyster reports on the Slade’s annual fundraising event
This year, the annual Frieze Art Fair sold a Warhol piece for over £4 million. Damien Hirst’s fish in formaldehyde went for the bargain price of three million. At the Slade’s Print Fair you could buy a limited edition print for just £20.
Last year, the Slade School of Art hosted the first annual Slade Print Fair, selling (relatively) inexpensive works of art from staff, students and alumni, in order to fund scholarships to support Slade students. This year it was back with a vengeance.
Hosted at the Slade Research Centre, off Woburn Square, The Slade Print Fair saw three rooms crammed full of contemporary prints. From UCL’s quad to bold black and white slogans, tongue-in-cheek humour to a series of measured ink drops of different size and hue, the exhibition celebrated contemporary printmaking in all forms.
Just as the works varied in topic, they varied in price too. For the most expensive pieces you’d have to have saved almost £300 from your bread, beans and Loop budget – typically larger pieces by internationally acclaimed artists. At the other end of the spectrum it was possible to take home something for around £30. Most pieces were around £50-£80 – and with some rising stars included, that might have been £50 well invested.
Just as exciting, and often more affordable on a student budget, were the series of works that were created just for the exhibition. They were screen-print on-site, producing limited edition runs of student prints for the bargain price of £20: ask the right questions and you might even have been offered to have a go. With 20 copies of each, there was a changing variety sold across the exhibitions’ run. Also on offer was the latest ‘Slade Edition’ – limited edition designer scarves from artist Lisa Milroy.
With political statements, abstract works and studied landscapes jostled together, vying for the viewers’ attention, the exhibition was a real treat to visit – and all in the name of a good cause. And with the fair now secured as an annual feature, here’s hoping that next year will be just as exciting.
All image credits: Adam Dyster