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Royal Scottish Academician Alfons Bytautas will be familiar to many in Edinburgh’s art scene as the head technician at Edinburgh Printmakers from 1979 to 2009. Now based south of the border in Newcastle, he is set to return for a new exhibition in Edinburgh at The Sutton Gallery on Dundas Street. The exhibition, which opens to the public on Saturday May 10th 2014, will show over 40 collages, paintings and works on paper produced over the course of the last two years.

Bytautas has an extensive career as a master printmaker and a visual artist. His paintings and prints can be found in many public and private collections, including the Royal Collection. For this particular exhibition, the Sutton Gallery will display works that draw on a jazz aesthetic, many of them with titles with jazz or literary references. They explore what the artist calls a “tug of war between figuration and abstraction”:

“I have been surprised as to how these imaginary geometrical or natural forms seem to mutate. The images are constructions or arrangements in which certain motifs emerge continuously through the process of re-ordering. By adopting a playful approach, images seem to emerge that are suggestive of cell structures, geological cross-sections or archaic symbols.” – Alfons Bytautas

Born in Selkirk in 1955, Bytautas studied painting at Edinburgh College of Art, where he started to develop his life-long interest to the technic of etching. Soon after graduating in 1979, he started to collaborate with Edinburgh Printmakers, working for 30 years as a Master Printer and Senior Etching Technician. In 1983, he studied at the Parisian printmaking studio, Atelier 17, with the celebrated painter and printmaker Stanley William Hayter.

Alfons has led important pioneer research on printmaking, especially developing acrylic resist etching and photopolymer techniques. He has been inspiring artists and spreading his work methods trough workshops master classes and festivals in the UK, Netherlands, Japan, Belgium and Spain ever since.

Having widely exhibited over the last 30 years, Bytautas has been elected an Associate Member of the Royal Scottish Academy since 1994 and became an Academician in 2006. In addition to his accomplished work as an artist, Alfons still holds a position at the Fine Art Printmaking Studio at Northumbria University, in Newcastle upon Tyne.

Submitted by Colin Herd

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