Claire Barclay: Tenuity

23 Jul 2021 – 27 Aug 2021

Regular hours

11:00 – 17:00
11:00 – 17:00
11:00 – 17:00
11:00 – 17:00
11:00 – 17:00

Free admission

Stephen Friedman Gallery

London, United Kingdom


Travel Information

  • Piccadilly Circus / Green Park

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Stephen Friedman Gallery is pleased to present ‘Claire Barclay: Tenuity’, its fourth annual exhibition of prints by gallery artists.


This iteration of ‘Multiple’ brings together series of screen prints spanning three years of the Scottish artist’s practice. In recent years, printmaking has become an increasingly important part of Barclay's work, and the artist was Printmaker in Residence at Edinburgh College of Art, Scotland between 2018 and 2019, where she further developed her print practice. This exhibition presents previously unseen works alongside newly made monoprints in advance of Barclay’s major solo exhibition at The MAC, Belfast in 2022. Claire Barclay and Katy Hessel, art historian, broadcaster and curator will be in conversation via Zoom on Saturday 24 July at 2pm. For further details please view the gallery’s website.

The works on display juxtapose seductive textures with sharp-edged, mechanical forms and are characterised by bold formal simplicity. Hovering between the geometric and organic, the precise and improvisatory, these prints communicate a sensitivity about the intimacy between objects and beings. Several works draw on items that are closely associated with corporeality such as fur, fabric or hair combs. Often rendered in tones of fleshy pink, the prints are read as productions of and about the body, eliciting what the artist describes as “a primal reaction” from the viewer.

Elegant investigations of materiality, weight and stability in two- dimensions, Barclay’s prints reveal a direct correlation with her sculptures and installations. The prominent use of negative space and precarious formal arrangements reflects Barclay’s interest in “highly charged touch” and “energy” at the point of contact.

The artist explains: “I aim to find the courage to present very simple shapes and forms that speak to me while I’m making the work. My sculptural mindset has very much influenced these prints; layered cut- out shapes and objects seemingly float within the boundaries of the paper whilst attention is drawn to the material quality of ink built up on their surfaces.”

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Exhibiting artists

Claire Barclay


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