Exhibition shows off Paul Catherall’s prints

A large-scale solo show by printmaker and illustrator Paul Catherall features the latest of his distinctive linocut prints

A large-scale solo show by printmaker and illustrator Paul Catherall features the latest of his distinctive linocut prints. Many recent commissions for the likes of the Southbank Centre, long-standing client Transport for London, Google and law firm Pinsent Masons will be on show.

The work of Catherall is eminently recognisable in the simplicity and boldness of its composition and linocut execution. Inspired by mid-20th century travel posters and designers such as Tom Eckersley and Tom Purvis, Catherall developed his own style, increasingly informed by his printing method.

It’s about a “quality that’s fairly abstract, where elements are missing and your eye does your work for you”, he says. “I’m exploring what to leave out rather than what to leave in, and getting the negative shapes to do the work.”

While studying illustration, Catherall also started to enjoy the “laborious, messy method” of linocut printing. Initially, he appreciated the way it would allow him to recreate an old litho style, but gradually he became obsessed with the process. “The more you get into the print process, the more you become obsessed with the sheet of the ink and the finish you get,” he says. “The whole feel and textures just becomes a slight obsession.”

Paul Catherall’s take on Portcullis House

His work graces numerous London institutions, not surprising given his inclination to depict the capital’s landmarks – the celebrated and despised alike – including the new Shard (see ‘Pink Shard, above, created as a one-off artist’s cover for Wallpaper magazine).

From top: Telecom Yellow by Paul Catherall, commissioned by Google; Telecom and Barbican, commissioned by Pinsent Masons; East Finchley, commissioned by Transport for London

Each print takes several weeks to complete, and Catherall enjoys the fact that the process combines the physical and the creative. “I think it does show. With everything you can generally see the time that’s gone into it.”

And as for those landmarks, Catherall says he will never get bored of them: “It’s usually that I want to revisit something; you  become less bored and far more involved,” he says. “I’ve become a bit obsessive.”

Paul Catherall at the Gallery@OXO (Oxo Tower Wharf, Bargehouse Street, London SE1) runs from May 1-19. A limited edition of prints is available for sale.

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