Iwona Abrams works as a visual artist, designer and researcher with a commitment to cross-disciplinary practices. She is Senior Lecturer in Graphic Communication Design BA (Hons) at the University of Westminster since 2010 and Associate Lecturer in Drawing Studio at the Royal College of Art since 2002. Abrams is a graduate of the Royal College of Art in Communication Art and Design, Central Saint Martin's School of Art and Design and Krakow Academy of Fine Arts. Awards have included major prizes at the International Krakow Printmaking Triennial in 2003, 2006 and RCA's Augustus Martin Award for the best use of print media.
Abrams' research explores the connection between print form and the physical properties of materials employed in the printing process. Recent research projects have focused on the technical aspects of designing a method of printing with ice.
Her print and installation works have been exhibited at established venues such as Künstlerhaus Gallery, Vienna and Zachéta National Gallery, Warsaw. During the last 10 years she has taken part in numerous exhibitions, including the International Print Triennial at Dalarna Museum, Falun, Sweden, 5th International Experimental Engraving Biennial, Brancovan Palaces, Bucharest, Romania; Imprint Warsaw International Graphic Arts Triennial, Royal Castle Museum, Warsaw, Poland; 'Bite', Contemporary Prints, Mall Galleries, London, UK; Guanlan 3rd International Print Biennial, Guanlan Original Base, Shenzhen, China; 'Multiple Matters - Graphic Concepts', Kunstlerhaus Museum, Vienna, Austria; 'Arsgrafia', Rondo Art Gallery, Katowice, Poland; 'Galileo, Galileo! ', Islington Arts Factory, London, UK; Museum of Photography Seoul, Korea; 'Print', Kunstlerhaus Museum, Vienna, Austria; Grafikenhus, Mariefred, Sweden; Krakow International Print Triennial, Bunkier Sztuki, Krakow, Poland; Tokyo International Mini Print Triennial, Tame Art University, Tokyo, Japan; Gibsone Jessop Gallery, Toronto, Canada; 'In Exile', 13th Tallinn Print Triennial, Tallinn, Estonia.
Abrams' work is held in public and private collections in UK, USA, Sweden and Poland. She frequently contributes to international publications and conferences including 2nd Impact International Printmaking Conference organised by the University of Art and Design Helsinki UIAH, Finland, 4th Impact International Printmaking Conference in Berlin/Poznan and 2nd International Art Meeting 'The Status of Reality in the Modern Art', organised by the BWA Gallery of Contemporary Art, Katowice, Poland.
Abrams' multifaceted work includes publishing, design and interiors. She often makes work through commissions or residencies that explore the identity of a site. As a consultant she worked in the design industry for clients in locations as diverse as the Falkland Islands (Stanley Services Ltd) and Boston MA, USA (Silver Platter Inc). She has worked extensively in the area of communication design, creating image and type/image designs for clients including: Jonathan Cape, Icon Books, Vintage, Women's Press, Cambridge University Press, Heinemann International, Sunday Times Magazine, GQ Magazine, the Observer, the Economist and Spero Communications.
Her work profile has been featured in 'Printmaking at the Edge', Richard Noyce, A&C Black London, 2006 - ISBN 9780713667844; Printmaking Today, the international magazine of contemporary graphic art; Vol 13 No 1, Spring 2004, page 14; 'Koszarowa 17', ASP Katowice, Folia Academiae, 2008, ISBN 978-83-61424-01-7; 'A Survey of Photomechanical Print', Fine Research Bristol (CFPR), UWE Bristol, 2002 ISBN 09536076 15.
Other publications include numerous public galleries' exhibition catalogues.
Iwona Abrams' central research focus is expanded printing seeking to explore and critique wider conceptual issues around the use of unusual materials, new processes and alternative modes of printing. Her research is a combination of practice and theory expressed through series of drawings, speculative print prototypes and print series investigating specific subjects, and reflecting on ideas relating to the project.
Current research explores the medium of print as a platform for creative interactions between art and science.
Redshift, Abrams' recent research project successfully developed a variable method of printing with ice and pigments, and also demonstrated, how the "behavioural" aspects of ice determine the final print outcome. The project as a part of "Galileo, Galileo!" was a cross-disciplinary, practice-orientated research, based on an introduction to the history, tools and methodologies used in the Astronomy/Physics sciences. The ephemeral and entropic properties of the process of printing with melting ice, which were employed in the production of the final outcomes to reflect the contingent qualities of the Universe, contributed to demonstrating the poetical potential of ice. As a series of interventions based on experiences of "differences" and "commonalities" of art and science, the research explores also the questions concerning if the choice of materials/media/methods have only technical meaning or are they a demonstration of artistic attitude towards reality. Abrams' experiments leverage existing approaches to Print and contribute to the conceptual and methodological frameworks of a concept-led approach to Art-making through printmaking. The project received funding from: Arts Council England, Royal Astronomical Society and University College London and has been exhibited in the public galleries in three countries: UK, Austria and Poland.
Abrams frequently presents her work at various venues, including Dalarnas Museum of Graphic Art, Falun, Sweden and Guanlan Original Base, Shenzhen, China. "Blue Memory" (2013) and "All Things I Know but Don't Want to Think About" (2011) - series of screenprints, are practice based research projects employing MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imagery) and CT (X-Ray based computerized tomography) scanning processes to explore the aesthetic, political, philosophical and conceptual issues posed by both the belief in seeing as knowing and the desire to comprehend the human body through visual knowledge.