Focus on 'Brighton Pier' Linocut Print by Edward Bawden
First printed in 1958, the linocut 'Brighton Pier' has become one of artist Edward Bawden's most enduring and iconic images. The original size was 53 x 144.4cm making it an impressive piece. Bawden (1903 - 1989) was a prolific and multi-talented artist producing book illustrations, watercolour paintings, wallpaper designs, advertising posters, metalwork, and even tiles for the London Underground (some of which can still be seen today). He is often compared to his contemporary, Eric Ravilious, who worked in a similar multi-disciplinary vein.
His celebrated linocut print Brighton Pier is one in a series of linocuts Bawden made depicting Brighton in Sussex, where he lived during the 1950’s, while working on book illustrations.
'Brighton Pier' is characteristic of Edward Bawden’s bold graphic style, with strong black lines which he uses to simplify the complex iron structure of the pier. There is also however a subtlety in some details, such as the light radiating from the lamps, the texture of the waves and the shadow on the sea under the pier. Six impressions were made for each of the individual colours. As Bawden did not have a large press in his studio, the print would have been made on the floor, using his feet. The use of collage effects, seen regularly throughout Bawden’s work are employed here to add an abstract feel and to frame the image. On the leftare the distinctive domes of Brighton's famous Royal Pavilion and to the right architectural details of a regency townhouse. This representation is not one of realism but which recreates a sense of place through a juxtaposition of different images.
Brighton Pier was awarded first prize in the Giles Bequest competition 1958 for colour prints from linoleum and wood.
Brighton Pier is available from the Fine Art Company as a Limited Edition Art Print with an image size of 17 x 47cm and paper size 28 x 61cm. Each limited edition print is produced on 310gsm cotton rag paper and hand embossed and numbered and the edition size is 950.
'Snowstorm at Brighton' produced in is another classic Bawden linocut of the South Coast. This time however it shows a more dramatic scene with determined fishermen holding onto their hats while battling the driving sleet and snow while the waves pound the pier. Above a fishing boat swings dangerously in the wind. Again, 'Snowstorm in Brighton' is available from The Fine Art Company as a highly affordable, beautifully produced limited edition giclee print.
Edward Bawden spent many years living in London while teaching at the Royal College of Art and so London provided much inspiration for his work. Below you'll find his 'Borough Market' linocut featuring market traders setting up their fruit and vegetable stalls with the railway bridge overhead and the church in the background. Another popular Bawden prints featuring London scenes are 'Pagoda at Kew', 'Palace of Westminster' and 'Covent Garden Flower Market' linocuts.