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Printmaking Today

Ed Catley - Mokum A

JAY, Etching
Jay (2019) Ed Catley. Relief etching on Velin Arches Noir

This exhibition explores the development of Ed Catley’s recent work, including around 30 new works on paper. In recent years, we have all seen profound changes in the way images can be manipulated and presented. MOKUM A displays new ways of incorporating digital workflow with traditional methods and demonstrates the importance of new technology in the manufacture of artworks. Catley’s new work explores the juxtaposition between ‘resolved’ optical experiences and ‘unresolved’ psychological responses – an intelligent ‘post-abstract’ figuration that could not have existed before the Information Age.

Between April 2018 and October 2019, Ed travelled to the LetterpressAmsterdam workshop four times to develop a process that enabled him to rework his large-scale woodcuts as mini-prints. Catley comments, ‘I was aware of William Blake’s relief etchings – a method of etching in which the parts of the design that take the ink are raised above the surface of the plate rather than incised into it. You just need to apply the image with a resist, drop the plate in acid and the negative space just fizzes away.’ During his first visit to LetterpressAmsterdam, Catley discovered that magnesium plates can produce a very crisp image – and that he could take prints from the plates in the same way as from a woodcut. All printing for the exhibition was done on a Vandercook Universal I.

Ed Catley has exhibited across the UK and Internationally. His work is held in permanent collections in Europe and North America.

MOKUM A: 2020