Christie’s South Kensington will showcase the best in contemporary art editions at Multiplied art fair in October. Murray Macaulay, the director of Multiplied and a senior prints specialist at Christie’s, shares his top five artists exhibiting this year
Multiplied is an art fair with a difference – it focuses on editions. The word edition is a catchall phrase for any art object made in multiple impressions, using methods that can be very ancient to the latest cutting edge technology. It encompasses prints, artist’s books, photographs and multiples. Making editions has always been attractive to artists for all sorts of reasons. Printmaking for example, offers a range of aesthetic qualities that aren’t available in other media: the wiry line of an etched mark, the expressive gouge of a woodcut, the bright commercial gloss of a screen print, or the menagerie of effects available with digital technology. The rule of thumb is that editions are made in small limited runs. Each impression is numbered with its own number followed by the overall edition size, and signed by the artist. After the edition has been made the matrix is destroyed, allowing for no further examples to be made. The quality of an edition is judged by the degree to which the artist has used a method or technology to realize their creative ends in a way that couldn’t have been achieved in any other medium.
Many of the artists represented at Multiplied are prominent figures in the contemporary art scene. But each year we also select exhibitors representing the most promising new talent, from exciting new start-up galleries and spaces, to some of the UK’s most dynamic graduate institutions, which this year will include the Royal College of Art, the Royal Academy of Arts and the University of the Arts London. The graduate space at Multiplied has proved extremely popular with visitors over the last few years – and it doesn’t take much looking to see why. The art is always stimulating and fresh, and it is also often very affordable. Perhaps part of the excitement is the sense that one might spot the next big thing… before she or he is famous. Having an eye on the potential investment return of a work of art is one reason for buying it, but, in my view, is very limiting. The important thing is that at Multiplied visitors will almost certainly find something they love. And this contributes to the cultural economy, helping to sustain the next generation of artists. So with that in mind, here are some of the artists that I am looking forward to seeing this year:
Libby Heaney has had an unusual journey to becoming an artist having previously completed a Phd in quantum physics. A recent graduate from Central Saint Martin’s MA Art and Science course, her works creatively respond to complex scientific theory. I like her beautiful visual conundrums which are both elusive and compelling. She will be exhibiting digital prints printed from original computer code.
Arnaud Meneroud is still a student at Central Saint Martins. His black and white photographs of desolate architectural spaces, such as parking lots, use the Fibonacci sequence to build up the structure of the image, creating dark, Borgesian labyrinths.
Scarlet Mueller is completing her MA in printmaking at the Royal College of Art. She describes her work as collage, encompassing traditional collage on paper, woodcuts or handmade books, and is fascinated by coincidences and chaos. Being a printmaking enthusiast, I like her lyrical use of woodcut and choice of delicate oriental papers.
Adham Faramawy graduated from the Royal Academy in 2013, and was shortlisted for the Converse/Dazed Emerging Artists Award in 2014. Adam’s work explores the interaction between technology and cultural identity in an age where experiences are constantly mediated by screens. He will be bringing the digital photographic print Feel Good to Multiplied, for which he won the RA’s Keeper’s Print Prize.
Marisa J. Futernick’s work is concerned with the American Dream – the tension between the ideal and reality. She is particularly interested in the post-war period of her parents’ generation, and how it affects the present. US born, the artist has lived in London for over a decade, during which her art has become increasingly focused on her home country. Madonna Inn, an archival print from a 35 mm. slide, captures the strange allure of American kitsch, its outrageous flamboyance and artificiality. Futernick received her postgraduate diploma from the Royal Academy Schools in 2014.
Murray Macaulay is the director of Multiplied and a senior prints specialist at Christie’s. Now in its 6th year, Multiplied is the UK’s only fair dedicated to contemporary art in editions, and returns to Christie’s South Kensington from 16-18 October. multipliedartfair.com