New British Embassy Moscow Forecourt

Tess Jaray (1937 - )

Screenprint

1999

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© Tess Jaray

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  • About the work
    Location
    Country: Other
    City: other locations abroad
    Crisp teal-coloured zig-zagging and straight lines organised into rectangles create an almost symmetrical geometric image, evocative of Art Deco neoclassical decorative architectural friezes and choice of colour. This print is in fact based on Tess Jaray’s design for the forecourt of the new British Embassy that was built in 1999 and formally opened in May 2000. The print was presented to the Government Art Collection (GAC) by Richard Burton, one of the partners of ABK, the architectural practice responsible for the design of the new building. 
    Jaray's paintings and prints are often inspired by architecture and contain three-dimensional interpretations and spatial ambiguities. Her design for the British Embassy in Moscow was one of several major public commissions that she completed during the late 1980s to 1990s. Interviewed by the GAC in 2014 she commented on the nature of how her practice switched from working on small scale to monumental projects, including her design for paving in Centenary Square in Birmingham (1988–92):
    It was the opposite of what I had been used to… suddenly there were some very severe rules and constrictions. If you are using bricks there is maybe a choice of 43 colours, whereas for paintings and prints you have maybe 2 million. ... If the space is permanent then as an artist/designer it is vital to understand the space from the point of view of how it is used – the desire lines – the way that people actually move through a space.
  • About the artist
    Born in Vienna, Tess Jaray studied at St Martin’s School of Art and the Slade School of Art in London. She has exhibited internationally and her work is held in many public collections including in London at Tate, and the Victoria and Albert Museum; and at the Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool. In 1995, won the Jerwood Art for Architecture Award. Jaray has completed numerous public commissions, including works for Centenary Square in Birmingham (1988–1992); the forecourt of the new British Embassy in Moscow (1995–2000); and the Outpatients Area, University Hospitals, Coventry and Warwick (2005–06). In 2010, she was elected a Royal Academician, one of the few women RAs; then elected a Senior RA in 2013. In 2016, Jaray curated a group exhibition, 'The Edge of Printing' at the Royal Academy; and in 2018, a solo show of her work was held at Exile, Berlin.
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  • Details
    Title
    New British Embassy Moscow Forecourt
    Edition
    3/25
    Date
    1999
    Medium
    Screenprint
    Dimensions
    height: 43.60 cm, width: 60.00 cm
    Acquisition
    Presented for the new British Embassy, Moscow by Richard Burton, February 2000
    Inscription
    br: Tess Jaray 3/25 1999
    Provenance
    Richard Burton (architect of British Embassy, Moscow)
    GAC number
    17448