David Franchi – Thursday, 21 July 2016.

Free as a bird © Alexander Lumsden, ph. co. Orion Contemporary and Fiumano Projects Gallery

Free as a bird © Alexander Lumsden, ph. co. Orion Contemporary and Fiumano Projects Gallery

The interesting exhibition “Responses: Great Tits (Parus Major)” was at the Fiumano Projects gallery, organised by Orion Contemporary, London.

It has been a show made as reply by Sarah Lederman and Alexander Lumsden. The artists were inspired by two 1930s paintings by Swedish artist Mosse Stoopendaal.

They were invited to respond unreservedly to Stoopendaal’s works, unrestrained by curatorial tendencies and with no limits. By keeping in account their individual practices and interpretations, Lederman and Lumsden have created artistic replies to paintings of Magpies examination (Pica Pica) and Great Tits (Parus Major).

Alexander Lumsden proposed sculptures of contemporary immigrants, wrapped in their sleeping bags, representing their isolation, and the incapacity of our society to respond to these crises.

Lumsden referred to the 13th century Persian version of the spiritual ode ‘The Elephant in the Dark Room’ by Maulána Jalálu-d’-Dín Muhammad i Rúmí. The story has a moral for individuals: each person responding individually to a situation inevitably creates conflicts instead of resolving problems.

This reinforces the artistic credo of Lumsden that is “the figures could be anyone, and in a way become everyone.”

The response of Lumsden was mirrored in the juxtaposition to the collaborative birds – magpies and great tits – that are not migratory birds but still are borderless.

This part of his oeuvre showed Lumsden’s concern that “unlike the animal kingdom, our world is filled with defined borders and regulations, which have forever changed the pattern of human migration and ultimately our ability to relate to one another.”

Sarah Lederman mirrored the pure colours of Stoopendaal. She has an artistic practice, which is strongly based in the

Tic Tac Toe © SArah Lederman. ph. co. Orion Contemporary and Fiumano Projects Gallery, London

Tic Tac Toe © SArah Lederman. ph. co. Orion Contemporary and Fiumano Projects Gallery, London

materiality of paint she mostly applies to canvases. Differently from Lumsden, Lederman presented her work has a common thread with Stoopendaal´s artistic output. She also depicted animals in her paintings but as she explains, they are more close to “Small creatures [that] crawl across the body of the paintings looking for something to suckle on”.

In the Lederman paintings, we find the contrasts. Apparently quiet, her paintings are inspired by medieval illuminated manuscripts, Japanese ‘shunga’ prints and traditional representations of femininity. She examines the materiality of paint to make compositions where the female body is fluid, liberated, and out of control. She changed her focuses of female body, but for this exhibition made a fine investigation of femininity.

Founded in 2008, Orion Contemporary gallery is run by Swedish Andrés Olow Clase. Recently, it achieved a semi-permanent base within Fiumano Projects space, King´s Cross, London. The gallery programme focuses on promoting young and emerging artists with a strong focus on Nordic art.

Sarah Lederman graduated (BA) from Chelsea College of Art in 2008. She was first shown by Orion Contemporary the same autumn. She has since been awarded the Catlin Art Prize (2009), won various artist residencies and completed her MA in Fine Arts at Goldsmiths College (2014). Her practice is featured in the ‘Mirrors to Windows: The Artist as Woman’ film.  This was screened to sell out audiences at the Freud Museum and National Portrait Gallery in January 2016.

Alexander Lumsden arrived back in the UK in 2011 after four years in Argentina and the Dominican Republic. In 2012, he was the Daler Rowney Artist in Residence whilst 2014 saw him return to his native Gothenburg. The exhibition Responses sees his work elevated into a fully global context.

From 19th until 31st May 2016, the exhibition “Responses: Great Tits (Parus Major)” was at the Fiumano Projects, organised by Orion Contemporary gallery, London.


David Franchi – Monday, 30th May 2016.

“Dra Åt Skogen - The Rural Abstractions” by Joakim Allgulander © ph. Fiumano Project / Orion Contemporary, London.

“Dra Åt Skogen – The Rural Abstractions” by Joakim Allgulander © ph. Fiumano Project / Orion Contemporary, London.

“Dra Åt Skogen – The Rural Abstractions” by Swedish artist Joakim Allgulander has been a short but interesting exhibition, a collaboration between Orion Contemporary and Fiumano Projects, both from London.

Situated into the genre of Landscape painting, “Dra Åt Skogen – The Rural Abstractions” is a project focused on the abstraction by using colour, shape and texture.

This project is inspired by the works of historic Swedish landscape painters such as Helmer Osslund or Inge Schiöler. However, Allgulander explores existential and urban life, and the mundane side more deeply.

Allgulander believes this project could never exist if he was not based in London. During the last years, he experienced a comeback of memories from his childhood in rural Sweden, which was full of snow and forests. Apparently, for him in a mysterious way the urban environment recalled the rural childhood.

All pieces of this exhibition are coming from old photographs of the artist’s childhood. This new body of work is made of semi- abstract studies of snowy elegant trees extracted from photos and from Allgulander memory. The paintings catch a particular, a fragment of a whole image. An entire tree is not depicted, while the detail is a symbol of childhood memories, but also an innate, but at the same time identifiable, abstraction in itself.

The paintings are built up using the layers method. This technique symbolizes time for Allgulander. He starts up his works from the computer in black and white or monochrome and then proceeds to put layer by layer of colours on the canvas, similarly on how you make a print. Every layer should shine through.

Allgulander presents colours which are not connected immediately to the nature. Works make use of the hue of one colour and of its different variation and high and low saturations.

The artist’s aim is to catch lights, as he does in other work and installations, and by using other media. Allgulander struggles to create an object, a piece almost like a sculpture, but by using paint on a flat surface. The abstraction comes with the colour and the texture of the paint. When the work begins to look like a sculpture, or an object, he can feel truly satisfied with what he has created.

Joakim Allgulander’s practice is broad, in both subject and media, however the existential lyricism and poetic content is a constant element in his work. Born in Stockholm in 1965, he studied at Uppsala University and the National College of the Arts and Crafts in Stockholm. Regarded as one of Sweden’s most successful multidisciplinary contemporary artists his work can be found in public collections including the Swedish Arts Council, the Municipality of Gotland and the Stockholm World Trade Centre.

“Dra Åt Skogen – The Rural Abstractions” by Swedish Joakim Allgulander was organized by Orion Contemporary and Fiumano Projects, London, and it was at the gallery from 10th May until 15th May 2016.


David Franchi – Wednesday, 18th May 2016.

Woman I (Cards), 2014, from the series FLAT DEATH © Sara Cwynar, Courtesy Cooper Cole Gallery, Toronto, co. Beaconsfield Gallery , London.

Woman I (Cards), 2014, from the series FLAT DEATH © Sara Cwynar, Courtesy Cooper Cole Gallery, Toronto, co. Beaconsfield Gallery , London.

It is a remarkable exhibition ‘Foam Talent 2015’, at the Beaconsfield Gallery, London.

Foam Talent 2015’ is the result of collaboration between Beaconsfield Galleryin Vauxhall and Foam Fotografiemuseum from Amsterdam (Holland), which brought to London an involving exhibition featuring international photographers with a variety of innovative approaches.

Presenting an original generation of young image-makers, Foam Talent is rather difficult to examine all together – the works on displays are more then 100, varying from digital to analogical, from colour to black and white, from simple prints to proper installations. The 21 featured artists have been selected from 1,208 submissions from 67 different countries – all of them are under the age of 35.

Talent is at its ninth edition. Since 2006 Foam Magazine has published a special Talent issue every year. It has grown constantly and in the past years, it became one of the most significant international platforms, from which young photographers have been often launched.

Based in Amsterdam, Foam is an international organisation active in the contemporary photography. It organises a wide range of activities also abroad, including exhibitions, publications, scouting, debates, educational projects and it runs a museum in Amsterdam.

Foam Magazine #42 issue is a relevant publication, which is also the catalogue of the exhibition at the Beaconsfield Gallery, London. It is also a portfolio and bio for photographer, plus has broad texts by a number of foremost international experts.

Foam Talent presents a good assortment of photographers. Certainly, to present the photos it elaborates a lot. Installations are not minimalist, according to the ongoing wave. There are expanded, large pieces, often overwhelming the visitors, mixed with small framed works. There are photos hanging directly from the ceiling allowing a 360° view; others mixes techniques like hand writing, painting, photoshopping, and different framing.

The approaches of the artist are different: some are purely descriptive, while others give more space to creativity.

A very involving Manon Wertenbroek got the front page of the magazine/ catalogue, with her work Tandem, which is a way for the artist to process her emotions and experiences by mixing material, design and photography. Christian Vium presented The Wake: for him photography is about dialogue and collaboration and his current work is focused on archive research, visual repatriation and photographic re-enactments. Flat Death and other pictures by Sara Cwynar instead, got the honour of the leaflet image. She works with photography, installations and collage by taking and recomposing images, in a vintage style. While Sjoerd Knibbeler, in his Current Studies, plays with the air around his assemblages of objects, Jean –Vincent Simonet instead is focused on the transgressive character of the body in his A Contemporary Maldoror.

The participating artists are: Aaron Blum (United States), Alessandro Calabrese (Italy), Tom Callemin (Belgium), Sara Cwynar (Canada), David Favrod (Switzerland), Dominic Hawgood (United Kingdom), Guo Peng (China), Heikki Kaski (Finland), Matthew Leifheit & Cynthia Talmadge (United States), Mariam Medvedeva (France), Abel Minnée (The Netherlands), Marton Perlaki (Hungary), Constantin Schlachter (France), Sjoerd Knibbeler (The Netherlands), Justin James Reed (United States), Johan Rosenmunthe (Denmark), Jean-Vincent Simonet (France), Danila Tkachenko (Russia), Naohiro Utagawa (Japan), Christian Vium (Denmark) and Manon Wertenbroek (Switzerland).

Beaconsfield Gallery Vauxhall in London has provided a laboratory and presentation space for contemporary art and artists since 1995 supported, until recently, by regular public funding.

Foam Talent is supported by Spaces, WeTransfer, Kleurgamma Fine-Art Photolab and The Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in London.

The annual Foam Magazine Talent Issue and the related Talent Program is supported by the Niemeijer Fund.

The exhibition Foam Talent 2015 is at the Beaconsfield Gallery, Vauxhall, London, from 22nd April until 22nd May 2016.


David Franchi – Wednesday, 4th May 2016.

Joe Tilson, Words and Images: The Notebooks © Alan-Cristea Gallery

Joe Tilson, Words and Images: The Notebooks © Alan-Cristea Gallery

The ‘Notebooks’ exhibition of Joe Tilson at the Alan Cristea GalleryLondon, is exquisite.


“Words and Images: the Notebooks” exhibition focused on Joe Tilson’s works, Alan Cristea Gallery brought to London for the first time.


Spanning from 1970 to the present days, on display there are never before seen private notebooks, alongside related works by Tilson, at the Alan Cristea Gallery, London.


Born in London on 24th August 1928, British artist Joe Tilson RA is an earliest protagonist of the British Pop Art movement. A contemporary of Frank Auerbach, Leon Kosoff, he was strictly linked to Peter Blake, Allen Jones and Patrick Caulfield. Made of his own real private  notebooks, this works provide a first-time look into the working methods and the philosophy of Tilson. These notebooks are full of his notes, lists, poetry, studies, drawings, photographs and his approach to art, literature and cultural history.

Joe Tilson Words and Images: The Notebooks © Alan-Cristea Gallery

Joe Tilson Words and Images: The Notebooks © Alan-Cristea Gallery


For almost 45 years Tilson has collaborated with Alan Cristea Gallery of London. He trained as a carpenter and completed his National Service in the 1940s. He attended St. Martin’s School of Art. In 1952, he continued his training at the Royal College of Art with Peter Blake, Allen Jones, Patrick Caulfield and David Hockney.

Tilson and his contemporaries were at the origin of British Pop Art movement, his own work always the most political of the group. While teaching in New York in the late 1960s, Tilson became very unhappy with the consumer society Pop Art emphasized. Also in the 1960s he was disappointed with the lack of political action in Britain. He moved from London to Wiltshire in the early 1970s and it is at this time the notebooks begin.

Some of these notebooks, together with annotated books from his own collection, are displayed next to prints that they directly refer to. Tilson is a liberal humanist andthis can be seen on object exhibited: a complete record of where and what was going on, people met, places seen, poetry, and illustrations of works in progress, all mixed together with his personal thoughts.

By looking at his work, there are references to Greek and Roman mythologies and Italy, Venice and the countryside of Tuscany where he lived and worked, firstly in 1955, and where he met his wife. The work of Tilson, in fact, looks at intercultural evergreen themes. For example, there are texts and quotes from artists and writers, including James Joyce, Ezra Pound and W.B Yeats. Another interesting aspect is the constant use of the four elements and remarks of ecological matters through the representation of butterflies, birds and flowers.

Joe Tilson Words and Images: The Notebooks © Alan-Cristea Gallery

Joe Tilson Words and Images: The Notebooks © Alan-Cristea Gallery



The exhibition “Joe Tilson – Words and Images: The Notebooks” is at the Alan Cristea Gallery, Mayfair, London, from 21st March until 7th May 2016.