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John Drawbridge MBE (1930-2005) - Signed 1983 Mezzotint, Open Window



An evocative abstracted mezzotint with etched detail by prolific New Zealand artist, muralist and printmaker John Drawbridge MBE. Drawbridge often creates hazy impressions of landscapes and interiors. Both his prints and larger paintings have a disorientating and alienating quality. Known for his large scale murals, his impressive sensitivity to texture and form translates brilliantly into printmaking. These soft forms contrast with a bold colour palette to create a captivating and dreamlike vision of everyday life.

Signed, dated and editioned in pencil below the plate line.

On wove.


In excellent condition. This piece has come straight out of the portfolio box with protective tissue paper.


14.6 x 8.4cm (5.7" x 3.3")
Sheet: 30.9 x 30.5cm (12.2" x 12")

Collection Information

These works are from a cased set of prints by artists who were associated with the Swedish printmaker and modernist Birgit Skiöld, entitled 'A Tribute to Birgit Skiöld'. The artists featured in this portfolio were taught by or worked with Skiöld.

Birgit Skiöld (1923-1982) was a Swedish printmaker and modernist, heralded as one of the most important printmakers of the 20th century. She exhibited at the Royal Institute of Painters in Watercolour in London as well as holding one man exhibitions throughout England and abroad. From 1958 until her untimely death in May 1982, Birgit ran the highly successful Print Workshop in the basement of 28 Charlotte Street, London. The workshop was the first open-access professional print workshop in England and soon became a destination of choice for such celebrated artists as David Hockney, Eduardo Paolozzi, Joe Tilson and Victor Pasmore. In tribute to her enormous contribution to printmaking, the V&A held an exhibition of Birgit’s work in 2011. Sulis Fine Art have a separate collection of her works available.

After the artist's death, as commemorative project was produced, entitled ‘A Tribute to Birgit Skiold’ to raise funds for the Birgit Skiold Memorial Trust. 118 artists from various countries contributed free of charge an edition of 25 prints in the 30 x 30 cm format, to create a portfolio of three volumes. Following the preface, tributes were provided by Graham Reynolds, Nils Stenquist, John McEwen, James Kirkup and Pat Gilmour, as well as poems by Edward Lucie-Smith and James Kirkup. The British Museum holds one of the editions.

The present works are taken from the first volume of edition 18, published by the Birgit Skiöld Memorial Trust and distributed by Pimlico Press, London in 1983. The volume is number 18 of the edition.

We have included images of the original volume box and frontispiece for reference only - you will not receive these with your purchase.

If you are interested in purchasing the volume as a whole (including the original case), please get in touch.

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For our full collection of John Drawbridge MBE (1930-2005) artworks click here

Artist Biography

John Drawbridge was a painter and printmaker born in Wellington, New Zealand. He initially trained at Wellington Technical College and Wellington Teachers' Training College winning a National Art Gallery travelling scholarship, in 1957. That same year he enrolled at the Central School of Arts & Crafts in London, where he studied and worked for three years under Merlyn Evans and Mervyn Peake, before moving to Paris in 1960. The same year he married the sculptor Tanya Ashken, then a student silversmith at the Central School of Arts & Crafts, who was the model for his 1960 etching ‘Seated Woman’, as well as several later works. Drawbridge was introduced to mezzotint by Evans and developed his skills in Paris with William Hayter at Atelier 17. The climax of this period came in 1963 with successful exhibitions at the Redfern Gallery. Zwemmer Gallery, Piccadilly Gallery and at the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition.

A 50 foot long mural had been commissioned from him the previous year for New Zealand House in Haymarket, then under construction which was installed in 1963. In 1991 the mural was removed and sent to Wellington, New Zealand and it is now housed at the National Archives Building. Awarded an MBE in 1978 he became a major force in New Zealand art and was afforded a major retrospective exhibition at the City Gallery, Wellington in 2001-02. Examples of his work are in New Zealand House, London, and in most major antipodean museums and galleries. Other notable commissions include the Expo 70 mural (now rebuilt in the National Library, Wellington), a mural commissioned for the IBM Centre in the AMP Building (now in the foyer of Radio New Zealand) and the Beehive Mural in the Parliament Buildings, Wellington. Others were in Auckland University School of Architecture Library and the CML building, Wellington. The latter, only completed in 1985, was destroyed when the building was refurbished in 1994. In 2001 the City Art Gallery, Wellington gave Draper a retrospective exhibition.

More Information
Code pq847
Artist John Drawbridge MBE (1930-2005)
Date 1983
Dimensions 14.6 x 8.4cm
Framed No
Medium Mezzotint
Style Abstract
Subject Interiors
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