Paul Catherall

Paul Catherall‘s work is very clean. His subjects are mainly buildings in London – Battersea Power Station, the Tate Modern, the London Eye. Catherall’s prints are linocuts but they don’t have the signature streaky backdrops usually associated with lino. By choosing to keep his block areas clean and solid, Catherall makes sure that nothing distracts us from the picture’s bold, pared-down shapes.

Paul Catherall, Battersea Slate II. Linocut. Image from http://www.re-printmakers.com/Members/256

In these prints, form emerges through layers (reductions), which sketch the outline of the building by showing where it is in shade. There are no fine outlines, no white outline. Instead the image is made up of balanced shapes.

Paul Catherall, Telecom Yellow. Linocut. Image from http://www.re-printmakers.com/Members/256

I think that these images work because they break a familiar sight down into the basic forms and building-blocks that make it up. As viewers, we’re searching for the centrepiece of the image, something figurative – and then recognise the familiar shape of Tate Modern, a tower, a particular series of angles. I think it is this very tiny moment that Catherall makes us wait before recognition kicks in that makes his prints visually satisfying.

I also like his striking colours: bright pastels, greys and black.

Paul Catherall is based in London, and is a member of the Royal Society of Painter Printmakers (RE). His work has been commissioned by Transport for London, the Royal Shakespeare Company and British Airways among others.

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