Anne Desmet RA specializes in wood engraving, linocut and mixed-media collage of architectural subjects from London to Rome. She exhibits widely, has won 30 national and international awards, has works in public and private collections worldwide and commissions include engravings for the British Museum, British Library, V&A and Sotheby’s. Her first retrospective: Anne Desmet – Towers and Transformations opened at the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford, in 1998. Her second: Anne Desmet – Urban Evolution opened at the Whitworth Art Gallery, Manchester, in 2008. Both exhibitions toured other UK museums for two years. Desmet is author of Primary Prints (2010); co-author of Handmade Prints (2000); and co-editor of Printmakers: The Directory (2006), all books published by A&C Black. She is also editor of Printmaking Today magazine.
Following a year working in Rome (1989/90) as a Rome Scholar in Printmaking, Desmet’s focus became the multi-layered nature of cities where ancient ruins co-exist with 21st century apartments. Via detailed wood engravings and linocuts of architectural subjects, she aims to create a sense of the interweaving and passage of years of history - a type of metamorphosis that is a recurring theme in her work. As well as creating relief prints, she makes collages in two and three dimensions, creating new images that develop the themes of her prints. This enables her to push architectural motifs in unexpected, surprising directions, allowing a building to take on a life and invented identity of its own. Recent works charted the changing landscape of London’s Olympic site, near her home.