Despite his focus on ordinary scenes and everyday objects, Irish artist Tim Mara (1948-1997) always rejected the qualification of Pop artist and rather identified himself rather in the lineage of Piero della Francesca, Velasquez and Vermeer, with a particular interested towards still life. “I like the constancy of life, like Shakespeare in modern dress.” he stated.

I know that the pop thing was going on – screen printing was there, photography was there, the everyday objects were there – but I was much more interested pictorially in Velásquez and Vermeer. Those prints had much more to do with painting. Just because I was using imagery that was contemporary and easily read, because I was trying to speak to the person who was looking at the picture, didn’t mean that my prints were related to Richard Hamilton’s collages. Tim Mara

A printmaker and a professor of printmaking at the Royal College of Art in London, Mara was an early adopter of the digital printing techniques without rejecting the traditional process, but rather integrating it with inkjet machines, scanners, and computers.

Despite his technical mastery, – the prints showed the author’s ability to reproduce any kind of material and they include up to 50-60 colors – Mara was not interested in demonstrating his manual than his storyteller abilities.

In the hierarchy of fine art, printmaking is usually associated with craft skills – with technique. And that gets in the way. My work was always about the ideas more than the medium‘. (…)

I saw myself as a film maker who also made prints. I didn’t want to draw or make a piece of work which relied on manual skill. When you make a film, you prepare the shots, shoot them and edit them but you never touch them – even though you are very involved emotionally and intellectually. I wanted to make pictures in the same way.
Tim Mara

Early works illustrate familiar scenes, compositions including people and everyday objects with a strong accent on the narrative and the usage of central perspective representations. Later works show juxtapositions of two pictures of objects in order to achieve material and visual contrasts.

In the hierarchy of fine art, printmaking is usually associated with craft skills – with technique. And that gets in the way. My work was always about the ideas more than the medium.
Tim Mara

 

Power Cuts Imminent, 1975.

 

The Stage and Television Today, 1975.

 

The Launderette, 1978.

 

Picture Window, 1980.

 

Reeded Glass and Shadow, 1997.

 

Hand Grip, 1979.

 

Four Heads, 1980.

 

Glass Jug, 1983.

 

Coal and Diamonds, 1985.

 

New Broom, 1987.

 

Hat and Squeezer, 1991.

 

Can and Bowl, 1992.

 

Plastic Glove and Wire Brush, 1993.

 

Pin Sculpture, 1995-96.

 

Images via: TateNo blah blah (art blog by Adeline Wessang)

All images: © The estate of Tim Mara.

Via: (the very recommended) A Series of Rooms.


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