Mystery and Imagination: The ‘Edgar Allan Poe’ and ‘Edmund Burke’ Print Portfolios

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'The Masque of the Red Death', From E.A. Poe Tales and Poems: 20 Images by Ivor Abrahams, 1976 Screenprint 49.5 X 36.5 Cm © Ivor Abrahams RA. Photo: Royal Academy of Arts, London / Prudence Cuming Associates
Mystery and Imagination: The ‘Edgar Allan Poe’ and ‘Edmund Burke’ Print Portfolios
Curated by: Nick Savage

Burlington House
London W1J0BD
United Kingdom
March 30th, 2011 - May 22nd, 2011

Other (outside main areas)
Complimentary entry with a valid Royal Academy exhibition ticket. £3 without. RA Friends go free.


In the Tennant Gallery

This exhibition brings together for the first time two pivotal print series by the sculptor Ivor Abrahams RA. Created more than thirty years ago in collaboration with master printers Chris Betambeau and Alan Cox respectively, the ‘Edgar Allan Poe’ (1976) and ‘Edmund Burke’ (1979) portfolios are superb examples of their kind from a period now recognised as a golden age of printmaking in Britain. The exhibition reveals in particular how Poe, the great technician of unified ‘effect’ in poetry and prose, who defined art as ‘the reproduction of what the senses perceive in Nature through the veil of the soul’ – and Burke, the great taxonomist of the Sublime and Beautiful, who first associated the emotive power of art with anticipations of pleasure and pain – took Abrahams on a parallel journey of discovery in relation to his own preoccupations as an artist, a journey that illuminated not only the work he had already done but, more importantly, what he had yet to do.

The artist has been closely involved in the concept of this exhibition, sensing a need to re-visit these print series from his current standpoint, and to evaluate the continuity of his preoccupation with figure and ground.

Opening times
Tuesday – Sunday, 10am – 6pm
Closed Monday

Artist’s Talk
Wednesday 20 April 2011
Ivor Abrahams leads an informal tour of the exhibition.
2pm in the Tennant Gallery.

Curator’s Talk
Tuesday 5 April 2011
An introduction to the exhibition by the curator.
3.30pm in the Tennant Gallery.

Both events are free with an exhibition ticket.