An Exhibition of John Chamberlain & John Lennon Prints
Curated by BCBC & Atelier GF Fine Art Printers
April 28 – May 25, 2023
Master Printmakers, Robert Game & Susan Farquhar of Atelier GF Fine Art Printers studio in Attendance
Gallery House | Toronto, Canada
Introduction by Reba Wilson
The Studio and BCBC are pleased to announce an upcoming double solo exhibition of John Lennon and John Chamberlain, which will take place at Gallery House on April 28 – May 25, 2023 by booked appointment. To do so please email a few dates/time frames Mon-Fri and a confirmed email by a Gallery House staff will reserve your appointment.
From the collection of master printmakers Robert Game and Susan Farquhar of Atelier GF
Fine Art Printers studio, Gallery House presents selected John Chamberlain and John Lennon prints, many of which are coming to the market for the first time. Game and Farquhar’s careers span three renowned printmaking studios in Toronto from the early 1970s to 2013. They are the printmakers behind the works on offer, which were created over a 25-year period.
Having worked alongside Bag One Arts Inc. to create the John Lennon pieces under Yoko Ono’s direction, printmaker Robert Game reminisces about faxing notes back and forth to hone in on details such as size, paper type and colours. “Printmaking is really quite a collaborative process,” Robert Game says. “It’s not just an artist saying ‘do this,’ and then you do it. Yoko wasn’t obtuse about what she wanted. She had a very clear idea.” The process of creating these monumental works involved much back and forth over the phone and via fax, where Game would provide variations to give a range of colours. He worked with Yoko Ono to create these works over a period of 20 years and printed over 80 John Lennon editions and three sets of Yoko Ono Calligraphy for Bag One Arts. Their relationship endured from Game and Farquhar’s previous studio to the Atelier GF studio; it even transcended the shift to email from fax. According to Game, they worked well together because “the more we did things and communicated, the better we understood each other.” After the hand printing process and selecting the choicest works of the bunch, Game would clean the prints and hand number each with a pencil “according to Yoko’s instructions.” John Lennon’s blind embossed signature, a Japanese red chop and a copyright stamp on the back followed. The pieces were then couriered to New York where Ono would hand-sign each one.
Many of John Chamberlain’s works were created on the etching press in his studio, a retrofitted Quonset hut in Sarasota, Florida, filled with metal scraps for the artist’s famed sculptures, including chrome bumpers and rows of cleaned and burnished car parts. Robert and Susan would visit the studio for 7 to 10 days at a time, facilitating the creation of prints and one-of-a-kind monoprints ranging in size from smaller works to those around the height of a standard door. For these, Chamberlain would use an ink roller to apply additional ink by hand. In the creation of each print, Chamberlain would scavenge his studio for car parts that inspired him, lay them out on the table and choose a colour. He might add the ink himself or let it be applied before arranging the parts and announcing the composition was ready for printing. The series “Famous Last Words”, completed in the mid-80s, involved the use of a Xerox machine applied to drawings done with metallic and coloured markers. Chamberlain would scan the drawings, draw on the scans, scan them again and manipulate the images so they were pixelated. These were used to create a series of 10 lithographs printed alongside poems by Robert Creeley. “They looked like the sculpture but more like a two-dimensional panel on the paper,” Susan says (some of these editions were printed in Toronto). These works will be included in the exhibition at Gallery House.
Susan Farquhar and Robert Game are proud to have been involved in the creation of many memorable works of art through impressive careers that continued until their studio’s close in 2013.
“As a professional printmaker, you learn to work with other artists to help them create their work” says Susan. “Discussing ideas with them, looking at their sketches or watercolours and then doing colour separations for them according to what they want.” And the duo has done just that.
Please reach out to us to inquire about a PDF of the exhibition of Dear John… by clicking here.
Opening April 28 from 5:00 – 7:00 p.m.
Master Printmakers, Robert Game & Susan Farquhar of Atelier GF Fine Art Printers Studio in Attendance
We look forward to welcoming you!
Gallery House is unlike any commercial gallery in the world. We deliberately partner with commercial galleries and work with curators at institutions on behalf of our artists. We have garnered attention from some of the top institutions, including the Museum of Modern Art – New York, Bristol Arts Museum – United Kingdom and numerous partnered galleries in over fifteen countries and growing.
Gallery House artists assume an ambitious presence at the following art fairs each year: Art Toronto, Hamptons Art Market, AAF Battersea, AAF Hampstead, AAF Amsterdam, Art Amsterdam, Scope Miami, Art Belgium, Art Stage Singapore, Art Fair Tokyo and more.