Glasgow Print Studio: Four Decades
Glasgow Print Studio has been around for pure ages. In fact, this year sees the old print emporium turn 40, which, despite being relatively young, makes it one of the oldest art institutions in Glasgow. Not bad for an organisation set up in a flat by a bunch of graduates way back in 1972.
The self-proclaimed home of print making in the west of Scotland, Glasgow Print Studio has shown some of the best-known Scottish and international contemporary artists around, including Douglas Gordon, Martin Boyce, Claire Barclay and the Chapman brothers, to name but a few. It’s admired for catering for a wide range of tastes and continues to promote several generations of Scottish artists at once – everything from Elizabeth Blackadder’s etchings of irises to Scott Myles’ screen printed text works.
Housed in Trongate 103 in Glasgow’s Merchant City, and spanning some three floors, Glasgow Print Studio is a gallery, shop and print workshop all in one. The ground floor shop sells everything from Alasdair Gray to Toby Paterson and prides itself on being both diverse and accessible, making it an ideal place for anyone taking their first steps in art collecting, while nevertheless catering for the connoisseurs among us.
As well as being a space for the production of cutting edge art, the workshop on the third floor offers a wide range of courses for those looking to try their hand at printmaking, including etching and screen-printing. Why not rub shoulders with some of Scotland’s finest artists while you get to know your hard ground from your soft ground?
The gallery on the second floor, on those days when the sun momentarily breaks through the clouds, is bathed in light, making it one of the most welcoming spaces to see art. It has a diverse programme that caters for all tastes – and doesn’t only show prints. Most notably, the gallery, along with the Glasgow School of Art, held an exhibition of unseen work by the recently deceased Steven Campbell in 2008. More recently, they were host to an audacious new show by Glasgow-based artist Scott Myles that included work made in the workshop itself.
To celebrate their 40th anniversary, Glasgow Print Studio has teamed up with GoMA curator Ben Harman to produce the excellent new show, Medium is the Message: Words in Printmaking Since the 1960s. The title is a reference to a phrase coined by Canadian scholar Marshall McLuhan who claimed that the medium through which we communicate has a decisive role in the meaning that we convey – the medium, in this case written language, is not distinct from the message it broadcasts.
The show boasts works by a wide range of artists who have all at some point made prints at the Studio, with many of the works on sale to the general public. As well as an exciting series of works by Edwin Morgan made in the 60s and 70s, the show includes work by David Shrigley, Christine Borland, Ross Sinclair and Bruce Maclean. Shrigley’s etching is typically amusing and includes drawings of things that scratch, such as pins and whores’ teeth. Meanwhile, David Sherry offers a print of him with a Post-It note stuck to the head reading 'Just popped out back in 2 hours.'
Whether you're looking to kick-start a career in art collecting, or fancy trying your hand at printmaking, Glasgow Print Studio is well worth a visit. And if you’re still not sure, head over and catch their current exhibition to get a taste of the sheer variety of printmaking available in Glasgow.