The prolific printmaker John Copley (1875-1950), already established as a lithographer, turned to etching in 1917. For the last 20 years of his life it was his preferred medium. Copley, at a time when etching had become unfashionable, enjoyed the lack of constraints and freedom of utterance etching permitted, as well as the energy and linearity of the medium, in comparison to lithograph’s more ‘painterly’ nature.
This exhibition focused on his etchings, rarely exhibited during his lifetime and seldom editioned, including examples of Copley’s figure studies, portraits, Mediterranean scenes and landscapes. In addition to this were a selection of his later, more existential and emotional works: perhaps more introspective, from 1939 and throughout the 1940s.