David Franchi – Sunday, 30th August 2015.

MOLANI, 2001 by Imi Knoebel, Ph. Ivo Faber © White Cube, London.

MOLANI, 2001 by Imi Knoebel, Ph. Ivo Faber © White Cube, London.

The first exhibition of Imi Knoebel in London was superb, at the White Cube gallery.

Worldwide renowned, in London Imi Knoebel presents theexhibition ‘Inside the White Cube’. He is one of the leading artists of his generation. Spanning for over 50 years, Knoebel’s body of work includes drawing, painting, sculpture, photography, projection and installation.

This exhibition presents new and existing paintings and sculpture in acrylic on aluminium, but also a group of works purposely created for the ‘9 x 9 x 9’ space of theWhite Cube.

The inspiration of Knoebel’s is determinedly formal. He investigates the result and strength of colour and materials, following and renovating the example of Modernism, in particular drawing influence from the geometrical abstractions of Malevich and Mondrian.

The artist followed is personal method to make exhibitions, consisting in create the installation as a single work in itself within which the single works will interrelate by themselves building new interactions about form, colour and space.

Knoebel production is unrestricted, and it rejects any ideas of spirituality potentially attached to pure abstraction. He often works in groups or series. He elaborates again specific themes and materials, at different moments and again at other points in his career. The works at the White Cube exhibition are all made from aluminium panels (first used in 1991) and reveals his habit of expanding and reinterpreting earlier subjects to form building blocks for new work.

A new group of paintings (2014–15) continues Knoebel’s meticulous abstraction working with organic and geometric shaped panels in combinations of two or three colours, sometimes possessing a fluorescent effect. Juxtaposed in various ways, these reliefs or object-like paintings test Knoebel’s formal concerns contrasting hard edged with soft, coloured with neutral, and matt with reflective to vivid effect.

Highlights of the White Cube exhibition are MOLANI (2001), where Knoebel comes back to the motif of the window, and Amor Intellectualis Tafel DCCCLVI (2006/ 2013) uses white acrylic and mirrored glass to reflect the surrounding gallery architecture into its pictorial field. In Ort-Rosa (2013), Knoebel uses pale pink panels to create a semi-enclosure, like the corner of a makeshift room enfolding the viewer.

For the 9x9x9 space Knoebel has conceived an entirely new work: seven ‘Kites’, large, quadrilateral paintings, all in white, hung at varying heights on walls.

Imi Knoebel, pseudonym of Klaus Wolf Knoebel (Dresden, 31st December 1940), is a German painter. He is known for his minimalist, abstract painting and sculpture.

Together with Imi Giese (1942-1974), from 1962 to 1964 he attended to the School of Arts and Crafts in Darmstadt,

North Gallery view by Imi Knoebel © White Cube, London

North Gallery view by Imi Knoebel © White Cube, London

where, according to the ideas of the Bauhaus preliminary course of Johannes Itten and László Moholy-Nagy, learned exercises of construction and structural composition. Together with Giese again, in 1964 he joined the class of graphic design of Walter Breker, at the Academy of Fine Arts of Düsseldorf.

Since 1965 Knoebel took the name ‘Imi’ – like his friend Rainer Giese – and they made their first exhibition, IMI + IMI in Copenhagen (1968). After that, he has exhibited his works in documentas 5 (1972), 6 (1977), 7 (1982), and 8 (1987), and at Sonsbeek (1971). In 1996 the Haus der Kunst, Munich, staged a large retrospective of his works which travelled throughout Europe, including such venues as the Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, and Institut Valencià d’Art Modern, Centre Julio González, Valencia. Knoebel had a major retrospective in summer 2009 at the Hamburger Bahnhof and the Neue Nationalgalerie in Berlin.

Imi Knoebel now lives and works as a freelance artist in Dusseldorf.

In May 2006, Knoebel received the honorary doctorate from the University of Jena (Germany).

The exhibition ‘Inside the White Cube’ by Imi Knoebel is at the White Cubegallery, Bermondsey, London, from 15th July until 13th September 2015.


David Franchi – Thursday, 27th August 2015

Frozen Wave (The Conservation of Mass) by Marc Quinn, 2015 © Ph. White Cube London (Ben Westoby)

Frozen Wave (The Conservation of Mass)
2015 © Ph. White Cube London (Ben Westoby)

Marc Quinn surprised with The Toxic Sublime and Frozen Waves exhibition, at the White Cube Gallery, London.

For Marc Quinn, this fresh work is the first at the White Cube, London, since years. The exhibition at the White Cube of London is the result of two years of study Quinn has made into natural phenomena and our complicated relationship with the environment.

This exhibition is the Quinn’s first at White Cube, London, since 2010. ‘Toxic Sublime’ is a series of unclear seascapes made of spray paint, aeronautical grade aluminium tape and acrylic on canvas, bonded to twisted aluminium, an attempt of make a three -dimension located between painting and sculpture. More interesting is, instead, ‘Frozen Waves’, a series of arched sculpture, made on stainless steel, including one measuring over 7m long.

‘The Toxic Sublime’ series present a particular technique. Firstly, Quinn submits a photograph on canvas of a sunrise to a process of violent alteration. The photograph is first sanded and taped, then spray-painted through various templates comprising flotsam and jetsam gathered from the beach. Once this process is complete, the artist takes the canvas out onto London streets and introduces the impressions of drain covers into the surface of the work – evocative of water man control in the cities while it is free in the ocean. The degraded seascapes are finally bonded to a sheet of aluminium, to be pummelled and contorted by Quinn to create sculptural hybrid objects, comprising both formal elements of classical landscape painting and suggestion of wrecking.

In the moment before they disappear and become sand, all conch shells end up in an analogous shape – an arch that looks like a wave. In ‘Frozen Waves’ series, Quinn catch the time and tide archaic action by using the most recent three-dimensional technology. There is a reference to the science of fluid dynamics too. Copied and extracted on different scales, and then cast in stainless steel or concrete, the result is similar to a sculpture of a wave yet also something primordial and ambiguous.

Marc Quinn is born on 8th January 1964 in London. He is a member of the loose group known as the Young British

The Toxic Sublime, 2015, White Cube , London © Ph. Marc Quinn Studio

The Toxic Sublime,
2015, White Cube , London © Ph. Marc Quinn Studio

Artists. He is better known for ‘Alison Lapper Pregnant’, a sculpture of Alison Lapper which has been installed on the fourth plinth at Trafalgar Square. He is also known for ‘Self’, a sculpture of his head made with his own frozen blood, and ‘Garden’ (2000). In his work of art, Quinn has used both conventional sculpture material, but also blood, ice and faeces. His work occasionally refers to scientific developments.

Marc Quinn is internationally renowned and his works are exhibited in several museums across the world, including Tate Modern and National Portrait Gallery (London), Musée National d’Art Moderne (Paris), Stedelijk Museum (Amsterdam), Astrup Fearnley Museum of Modern Art (Oslo), Berardo Collection Museum (Lisbon), Musée d’art Contemporain de Montréal, Museum of Modern Art and Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York).

The exhibition ‘Toxic Sublime’ and ‘Frozen Waves’ by Marc Quinn is at the White Cube Gallery, Bermondsey, London, from 15th July until 13th September 2015.


David Franchi – Sunday, 27th July 2015.

Deflating Head (2015) © Felix Treadwell, co. Cock'n'bull Gallery, London.

Deflating Head (2015) © Felix Treadwell, co. Cock’n’bull Gallery, London.

It is a remarkable exhibition Felix Treadwell, at the Cock’n’Bull Gallery, London.

The solo exhibition ‘Ripple on a Playground’ marks the debut of Felix Treadwell, who was the winner of the HIX Award 2014, organised by Cock’n’Bull Gallery, London.

Recently, Treadwell successfully completed a degree in Fine Art at Camberwell College of Arts, London. His work is bound by a series of challenges within both the aesthetic and conceptual content.

Treadwell work analyses the spreading internet culture and its repercussions on young people, together with the interaction between East and West. Nowadays, internet allows people to access information in a never before seen easy way. However, questions are raised about the reliability of such information, and it is uncertain if this is a positive or negative freedom.

The usage of a technique such as painting is a distinguished choice in a web culture. By working with painting, Treadwell experiments with a medium which requires mastering and ability, in contrast with the easy accessibility of today information.

Felix Treadwell work is also focused on the absence of strong reference points for the youth of today. Teenagers and children are left by themselves to develop their own personality but the hollowness of their environment puts them to a high risk of vulnerability and conformity, while leaving them exposed to intimidation, raising problems with bullying and predators.

At the preview of the exhibition ‘Ripple on a Playground’, the Cock’n’Bull Gallery was packed, in between the visitors many Japanese people. The work of Treadwell, in fact, is strongly inspired by his experience in the Land of the Rising Sun.

His style is clear, neat, and notable is the usage of bright light colours. By using cartoon-like figures, he cleverly presents his worry on the consequences of the infesting Internet Culture.

Born in a town near Brighton in 1992, Felix Treadwell was inspired to become an artist from his experiences as a child and teenager. He moved to London to complete his Fine Art degree and during this period was accepted to study at Kyoto Seika University (Japan) for 7 months. The inspiration coming from these far-away cultures is indisputably evident in his work.

The exhibition ‘Ripple on a Playground’ by Felix Treadwell is ongoing at theCock’n’Bull Gallery, Shoreditch, London, until the 3rd August 2015.


Sheree Hovsepian, Autobiographical Time Travel, 2015 © Kristin Hjellegjerde Gallery, London

Sheree Hovsepian, Autobiographical Time Travel, 2015 © Kristin Hjellegjerde Gallery, London

David Franchi – Thursday, 11th June 2015.

It has been a remarkable exhibition “The Whole Other” at the Kristin Hjellegjerde Gallery, London.

The exhibition “The Whole Other” was focused on two different artists, Sheree Hovsepian and Konrad Wyrebek, who were brought together inLondon by Kristin Hjellegjerde at hergallery.

Despite their apparent incongruence, both of them are standing on a subtle position in between the digital interpretation and modern reality, driving conventional art into a contemporary perspective.

The three-dimensional sculptural works of Sheree Hovsepian play with dimension and human sight by manipulating mediums such as photography, photograms and quotidian objects to create conceptual interpretations. The originality of Sheree Hovsepian comes from her attraction with the Gestalt theory of psychologist Kurt Koffka. ‘The whole is other than the sum of the parts’, Koffka stated which means that, in the perceptual system, the whole has an independent existence, or reality, separated from its parts.

Therefore, the artistic life of Hovsepian is organised according to this principle. She explains art as a duality, symbolizing both chaos and control, rather than trying to “make meaning from a world that is as a whole chaotic”.

Hovsepian creative process is made of works on paper which are photographed, digitally manipulated, and printed as archival dye transfer prints, developing cosmic-like backgrounds and placing on it other images or everyday objects, including wood, string and brass nails. She reminds the works of Kirsten Glass.

“I locate myself as an artist in this time and place and what draws me to the materials I employ” Hovsepian says. “For example, I have recently discovered that for me, the string elements in my work directly relate to the idea of time and memory. There is a correlation with the hand-made and activities like knitting and crochet, which I used to do as a girl with my mother.”

The work of Konrad Wyrebek on ‘data error’ paintings explores on radical pixelation, and it indicates the diffusion

Konrad Wyrebek BUnnyF, 2014 © Kristin Hjellegjerde Gallery, London

Konrad Wyrebek
BUnnyF, 2014 © Kristin Hjellegjerde Gallery, London

and manipulability of information through digital and social media. It confronts pop culture using abstracted television, film, and social media-based images.

Konrad Wyrebek’s body of work is also the result of a multifaceted, unique artistic process himself names ‘data error’. Wyrebek’s paintings come from “images that are pixelated through a succession of digital compressions with deliberate settings, causing corruption of data in transfer between different software and devices”. The process of achieving a ‘data error’ in his paintings is similar to the transfer of news and information from media to society.

Despite being technical, digital or human, an error has considerable outcome on our interpretation of an image or byte of information. Therefore the artist works mirror the shifting nature of communicating news. His paintings, and indeed his process, analysis the society interpretation of mainstream Internet and social media, and it highlights that often the conclusions are very different from the original information given.

His paintings are classified as post-internet art, but remind classics, Cubism, Kandinsky, but also seem to be a contemporary version of Van Gogh and Mondrian.

The title “The Whole Other”is at the same time a single body but also leaves to each artist their role. What blends their artworks to create ‘the whole other’ is Hovsepian and Wyrebek’s shared admiration for the exploration of the undefined world. They question the expected roles the society usually provides and by doing this they also restructure their own world.

Sheree Hovsepian is born in Iran in 1974 and currently lives in New York. She received her MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, having previously studied at the University of Toledo and the Glasgow School of Art. Recently she exhibited solo in Toronto, London, and Dubai, while in group she was in Miami, Palm Beach. She has been featured in W Magazine, The New York Times, NY Arts Magazine and The Photography Post, among numerous others, and in books also published by Thames & Hudson. Her work can be found in collections including the Zabludowicz Collection in London, The Spertus Museum in Chicago, The Art Institute of Chicago and The Studio Museum in Harlem.

Konrad Wyrebek is born in the Czech Republic and now based in London. He studied Art History at the University of Warsaw, followed by Fine Art at Central Saint Martin’s (London) and Fine Arts at the Metropolitan University (London). Recent exhibitions and projects were in Moscow, London, New York. In 2011, he was awarded with Sir John Cass Sculpture Prize; the John Burn Sponsorship Award for 3D Printing; and the Metropolitan Works Sponsorship Award for Rapid Prototyping. He has been featured in Saatchi Art and Music Magazine, Saatchi Gallery Online Magazine, The Guardian and Art Forum, amongst many more.

The Whole Other” exhibition was at Kristin Hjellegjerde Gallery, Wandsworth, London from 8th May until 6th June 2015.