Lotus 72 - Art Screen Print - Front Angle

By Alan Thornton

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50 years on from Emerson Fittipaldi's 1972 World Championship victory with Team Lotus, we were honoured and tremendously excited to be invited by Clive Chapman of Classic Team Lotus, to celebrate the car in a remarkable and beautiful collaboration with artist and photographer Alan Thornton. Alan has taken Classic Team Lotus's 72D into the studio and shot it beautifully at very high resolution on a large format camera. With his London based team using hand pulled screen printing, he has rendered the image onto Naturalis paper, made in England, at a large size: 1.0 metres wide and 0.7 metres high. Alan has used spot colours to maximise the intensity of the image and the result is an imposing and incredibly beautiful art print, that delivers in equal and generous measure, the technical and engineering virtuosity of this revolutionary car, and the glamour of a golden age in F1.

  • Limited to just 200 prints
  • 100cm wide by 70cm tall
  • Based on photographs taken of the real 1972-Championship winning car as it is today
  • Fine art, hand-pulled silkscreen prints
  • Utilises water-based inks, printed onto 400 gsm Naturalis paper, made in England
  • Created by artist and photographer Alan Thornton

This fine art screen print is of the Lotus 72D, the fourth iteration of the 72 raced by the Team Lotus in the FIA Formula 1 World Championship from 1970 to 1975, initially in the memorable red, white and gold of sponsor Gold Leaf and later in the iconic black and gold of John Player Special. Conceived by Colin Chapman and Maurice Philippe, the 72 is arguably the most significant and successful car designs in Formula 1 history, rewriting the rules of aerodynamic interpretation and influencing single-seater design to this very day. Mid-mounted radiators allowing Lotus founder Colin Chapman to create a more aerodynamic profile than anything which had come before. Tipping the scales at exactly 530kg, the very minimum allowed within the regulations, it was one of the lightest F1 cars ever. With a career spanning six seasons, the Type 72 made a remarkable one hundred forty-nine Grand Prix starts across 75 races, securing three Constructors’ Championships in 1970, 1972 and 1973, and two Drivers’ Championships in 1970 with Jochen Rindt and 1972 with Emerson Fittipaldi. The 72 earned 20 race wins and 19 further podiums in the hands of some of the finest drivers to have graced motorsport: Rindt, Fittipaldi, Reine Wisell, Ronnie Peterson and Jacky Ickx.

The Process

Screen printing is the process of transferring a stencilled artwork onto a flat surface using a mesh screen, ink and a squeegee. Starting with the photography, the subject matter is composed and lit with the intermediate processes and the final print in mind - each step very much influences the final outcome. In post-production the image is refined and manipulated to create the final tonal variations needed for the separation of colours, which are then half toned which simulates continuous-tone imagery through the use of dots or lines, varying either in size or in spacing, thus generating a gradient-like effect. For each colour, a positive acetate is transferred to a silk screen frame coated in photosensitive emulsion. Following exposure, washing out and drying, the frame is mounted on a to print bed, and the chosen colour ink is then forced through the mesh with a squeegee by hand. This is a highly skilled craft process, sensitive to the touch, feel and technique of the printer, and as a result each print is unique.

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