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Lineage – Prints by Michael Craig-Martin, Ian Davenport and Julian Opie

Edinburgh Printmakers until September 3rd
3 stars
Drip, drip, drip go the variations on a theme that forms the quartet of
works culled from Ian Davenport's 'Etched Puddle' series, in which
assorted rainbow-arrayed, candy-striped, multi-coloured streams trickle
down into a similarly hued liquid carpet at the bottom of each frame.
Seen together, they appear playfully and trippily retro, recalling the
opening credits of groovy 1970s teatime alternative to 'Blue Peter',
'Magpie'. In the next room, something similar occurs in one of Julian
Opie's four 'Japanese Landscapes', a series of three-dimensional
reflective treats akin to old-time breakfast cereal free gifts.

This is print-making, Jim, but not as we know it, and it's perhaps
telling that both Davenport and Opie are former students of Michael
Craig-Martin, whose other, so-much-to-answer-for Goldsmiths alumni
include the YBA generation of self-styled art stars. Davenport's
penchant for minimalist repetition is further explored in his 'Ovals'
series, in which a simple shape moves from black and white definition
to lemon yellow blanching out to a rich black and blue moonlight. The
two examples of Opie's 'This is Shanoza in 3 Parts' series, meanwhile,
suggest The Saint doing gymnastics.

Craig-Martin's own works are a mix of the classical and the mundane,
dominated by 'Tokyo Sunset', a series of six sunnily delighted
strip-cartoon depictions of everyday consumables; a watch, an opened
drink can, a mobile phone, a lightbulb, a guitar and some
innocuous-looking handcuffs. Turning Japanese has rarely looked so
lip-smackingly enticing.

The List, August 2011

ends

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