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Freedman, Barnett

(1901 – 1958)

Charades, 1937

SKU: 10612

Lithograph, trial proof, without darker colours

Signed in the plate

22 x 31 9/10 in. (56 x 81 cm)

Size:
Height: 56cm
Width: 81cm

DESCRIPTION

Provenance:
The Artist’s Family

Literature: Artmonsky, Ruth, Art for Everyone: Contemporary Lithographs Ltd’, ACC Art Books, 2010, pp. 46-47; Mason, Emma, Barnett Freedman, Designs for Modern Britain, Pallant House Gallery, 2020, p. 103

This work was part of the first series of Contemporary Lithographs, published in 1937. The series was the brainchild of Robert Wellington ‚Äì the Director of the Zwemmer Gallery in Charing Cross ‚Äì and the artist John Piper, who was the technical expert. Their inspiration was to make good quality prints available to schools across Britain. 

Twenty-five artists produced images, which were then printed with Piper’s help at the Curwen and Baynard Presses. These artists included Paul Nash, Eric Ravilious, Edward Bawden, and Graham Sutherland, among others. The edition was limited to 400 copies per image.

Concerning Barnett Freedman’s Charade, Ruth Artmonsky writes that Freedman’s lithograph is reminiscent of the many Christmas cards he produced showing convivial social scenes. These were usually small vignettes which he has worked up into a full-blown party for his lithograph. His total command of the medium comes across in his subtle colour combinations with the play of the firelight’.

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THE ARTIST

Freedman, Barnett

1901 – 1958

Illustrator, painter, printmaker and teacher, Freedman was born to Russian Jewish immigrants living in poverty in the East End of London. In 1916, he worked as draughtsman to a monumental mason, and at the same time took evening classes at St Martin’s School of Art. In 1922, he won a three-year scholarship to the Royal College of Art. In 1928, he joined the staff of the Royal College, and not long afterwards began to teach at the Ruskin School of Art, Oxford. He soon became a pioneer in the revival of colour lithography. He was an Official War Artist in World War II. By the time of his death Freedman had established an enviable reputation as an illustrator and designer of posters, stamps, books and book-jackets. He believed that there was no such thing as commercial art, ‘only good art and bad art’. His first exhibition was held in 1929 at the Literary Bookshop, Bloomsbury. A memorial exhibition was organised by the Arts Council in 1958. Manchester Polytechnic, which holds the Freedman archive, held a major show in 1990. Examples of his work are in the collection of the Tate Gallery.

With thanks to artbiogs.co.uk

MORE PICTURES BY ARTIST

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15-inch Gun Turret, HMS Repulse, 1941
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