Chris Prater: Master Printermaker Biography

Chris Prater was a master printer who worked with some of the most famous artists of the 20th century, including Andy Warhol, David Hockney, Richard Hamilton, and Bridget Riley. He was born in 1938 in London, England and started his career as an apprentice lithographer in the late 1950s.

Prater's talents as a printer quickly became apparent, and he went on to work at some of the most prestigious printmaking studios in London, including Kelpra Studio and Petersburg Press. He was known for his technical expertise and his ability to translate artists' ideas into stunning prints.

One of Prater's most famous collaborations was with Andy Warhol, who he met in the early 1960s. Warhol was already a well-known artist at that time, and he was looking for new printing techniques to help him create his distinctive style. Prater and Warhol hit it off immediately, and together they created some of Warhol's most iconic prints, including the "Marilyn Monroe," "Mao," and "Campbell's Soup" series.

A Rake's Progress', David Hockney, 1961–3

Prater's collaboration with Warhol was not always easy. Warhol was known for his demanding and exacting nature, and he was not always easy to work with. Prater, however, was a master printer who was able to keep up with Warhol's creative vision and bring his ideas to life.

In addition to his work with Warhol, Prater also collaborated with a number of other famous artists. He worked with David Hockney on several prints, including the "Rake's Progress" series, and with Richard Hamilton on the "Kent State" print, which was a response to the Kent State shootings in 1970. Prater also collaborated with Bridget Riley on several prints, including the "Elapse" series.

One of Prater's most famous works was the "Just What Is It That Makes Today's Homes So Different, So Appealing?" collage, which was created in collaboration with Richard Hamilton in 1956. The collage is widely regarded as one of the first works of pop art, and it features a number of iconic images that would go on to become staples of the pop art movement.

Richard Hamilton, Just What is It That Makes Today’s Homes So Different, so Appealing?, 1956, collage, 26 cm × 24.8 cm (Kunsthalle Tübingen, Tübingen)

Prater continued to work as a printer throughout his life, and he was widely respected for his technical expertise and his ability to translate artists' ideas into stunning prints. He passed away in 2009, but his influence on the art world is still felt today. His collaborations with famous artists like Warhol, Hockney, and Hamilton helped to redefine the relationship between art and technology, and his prints continue to be some of the most sought-after works of art in the world.