ADRIAN Wiszniewski discovered Glasgow Print Studio at a point when he had become “disillusioned” with painting.

“To survive as a painter, it had got to the stage I had to sell a work costing £10,000, and that made me feel uncomfortable, like I was part of this rarified world only rich, privileged people could access,” he admits, frowning.

“That was never what art was about for me. Printmaking opened my eyes – it seemed more accessible, more affordable, and lots of ideas I had that wouldn’t work in painting, worked in printing.”

Celebrated artist Adrian, one of the New Glasgow Boys alongside Ken Currie, Steven Campbell and Peter Howson, created some of his most identifiable artworks with Glasgow Print Studio, which is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year.

“I’d been aware of printmaking at art school, but I didn’t know that much about it,” he admits. “Glasgow Print Studio demystified it all for me. And there’s not many places where you can meet other artists, get the creative sparks flying.

“It’s a brilliant thing. When you are a painter or a sculptor, you generally work in the studio by yourself – at GPS you’re rubbing shoulders with other artists, with the general public…and everyone is doing different things. There is so much camaraderie, and exchange of ideas.”

He adds: “I have always enjoyed learning – when I was at art school, I was fascinated by what everyone else was doing.

“I studied architecture before I studied art. I just wanted to try everything - I didn’t want to be an old architect sitting there, wishing I had done that, or tried something else.”

To celebrate its 50th anniversary, Glasgow Print Studio is staging a new exhibition, The Love of Print, at Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, showcasing works by celebrated Scottish artists from the last five decades.

Co-produced with Glasgow Life, the charity responsible for culture and sport in the city, it brings together more than 225 significant prints by 130 artists – collectively, a who’s who of Scottish art since 1972.

John Mackechnie, director of Glasgow Print Studio, says: “The story of Glasgow Print Studio is really quite remarkable, starting in 1972 with a group of enthusiasts with no money in a basement flat, but a need for a facility they could use to make prints after art school.

“Its progress since then has been meteoric, inviting the best artists in Scotland to work with them and then taking the work to an international audience.”

Central to the development of Glasgow’s Merchant City as the city’s vibrant cultural quarter, the studio’s workshop, galleries, education space and other facilities now span three floors of its home at Trongate 103.

John adds: “It has provided a facility for thousands of artists and could fill the entire Kelvingrove Art Gallery with prints made over its 50-year history. This snapshot illustrates its history with more than 200 works of art, memorabilia and videos to give the audience an insight into the inner workings of Glasgow's longest running visual arts facility.”

There are pieces by Alasdair Gray, Barbara Rae and John Byrne, which represent some of the earliest pieces from Glasgow Print Studio’s incredible archive, while Adrian and his fellow New Glasgow Boys move the exhibition on through the 1980s.

Recent renowned Scottish artists, often recognised more widely as Turner Prize winners and nominees, are also on show. Works by Martin Boyce, Ciara Philips, Richard Wright, Jim Lambie and Christine Borland, sit alongside pieces by less well-known printmakers.

One section, entitled Here and Now, comprises 50 newly-commissioned works, including Cartwheels on Glasgow Cross by Kate Downie.

“I have always loved that spot, where everything seems to congregate – people, traffic, buildings, train bridges – just five minutes away from the print studio,” she explains.

“As I sat there, two women walked by, deep in conversation – two mothers, followed by two young girls who were presumably their daughters.”

Kate adds: “As they came into the space, the two girls, who were about 10 years old, just looked at each other and smiled, then proceeded to do cartwheels across the pavement. I loved that – it just seemed to sum up the exuberance of the city. This work seemed to be perfect for the exhibition, to mark my fondness for the city, and for GPS.”

Kate, an American-born Scottish landscape artist, has been working with and “dipping in and out of” GPS for 25 years.

“This exhibition is really wonderful – GPS is always lively and exciting, but the idea of it coming out of its own home and into Kelvingrove with 50 brand new, never-before-seen artworks, is the perfect celebration and we are all thrilled to be part of it,” she says.

“I started monoprinting at Glasgow Print Studio and they had such beautiful, big presses to work on. I remember watching Philip Reeves working – you’d see all kinds of people you knew and respected there, and it was fascinating. It was like watching a ballet.”

Philip Reeves was integral in establishing Scotland's vibrant printmaking scene as Head of Printmaking at Glasgow School of Art in the 1970s, and as a founder member of the Edinburgh Printmakers in 1967 and Glasgow Print Studio in 1972.

“Glasgow is a very generous place for an artist,” says Kate. “People are passionate about art in the city, and they understand it is about supporting each other, about being part of a community. That is embodied by Glasgow Print Studio.”

Adrian Wiszniewski says Kelvingrove is a fitting venue for the exhibition.

“A stroll through Kelvingrove Museum on a Sunday afternoon is among my fondest memories,” he recalls. “When I was a student, living in Glasgow, going to the art school, and I was really skint, I’d go there.

“It’s such an idiosyncratic, democratic collection - Egyptian mummies alongside old musical instruments, and masterpieces by Rembrandt, and Dali.”

He says: “As a Glaswegian, I thought I owned that collection. It reflects the personality of Glasgow, rich in its range and depth. Glasgow Print Studio shares these attributes. Like Kelvingrove, it has embraced the very Glaswegian belief that art is for all.”

The Love of Print runs until March 12, 2023.