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.


David Franchi – Wednesday, 3rd June 2015.

Installation view, Lee Ufan at Lisson Gallery, London, 25 March - 9 May 2015, Courtesy the artist and Lisson Gallery

Installation view, Lee Ufan at Lisson Gallery, London, 25 March – 9 May 2015, Courtesy the artist and Lisson Gallery

The exhibition of Lee Ufan was an astonishing event, at the Lisson Gallery, London. Bringing toLondon a body of new works, the Lisson Gallery exhibitionconfirmed Lee Ufan to be a great artist.

The works displayed were a dozen, between paintings and installation. In the basement there was a projection of a documentary on Lee Ufan’s life.

Lee Ufan is an artist of multiple skills. Painter, sculptor, writer and philosopher, he came to prominence in the 1960s, as one of the major exponent of the avant-garde Mono-Ha (Object School) group, the first Japanese art movement to achieve international recognition. The Mono-ha movement discarded Western approach of representation, and focused on the relationships between materials and perceptions rather than on expression or intervention. The artists of Mono-ha made works of raw physical materials that have scarcely been manipulated.

The work of Lee Ufan is considered minimalist. He pays attention in the utilization of gesture or representation in search of the utmost effect or quality. His work consisted of one, two, or three short, broad brushstrokes placed so as to call to mind resonance and echo within the surrounding white space.

On display at the Lisson Gallery, it was his most recent series of ‘Dialogue’ (paintings and watercolours). These works are carefully made of singular sweeps of paint, each built up over an extended period of time by accumulating smaller strokes, using the brush slowly. Each replication is a sort of ceremony Lee Ufan realises, and it is connected to a sense of infinity, which is for him a feeling related to the space, and is composed by a relationship between elements.

Lee Ufan explains: “My idea of infinity is different to most people. Most people think about infinity like a concept, you

Installation view, Lee Ufan at Lisson Gallery, London, 25 March - 9 May 2015, Courtesy the artist and Lisson Gallery

Installation view, Lee Ufan at Lisson Gallery, London, 25 March – 9 May 2015, Courtesy the artist and Lisson Gallery

think of Einstein: but most of my work it does not express the concept of infinity. For me it’s just a smallest hint, a suggestion, of what infinity is: which is the vibration that happens in the relationship between time, space, coming together, and creating this vibration. It’s what you feel when those things come together, that’s what infinity is. For example, last year, I created sculpture at the Palace of Versailles, and Versailles is perfectly designed. But when people go there, they only look at these elements instead of the design. I created a giant arch and under the arch there was a steel carpet. When people walked along the carpet under the arch, they could see the sky, they could see a vast space and that ‘wow’ moment that was infinity that they were feeling. So not focusing on the design that are perfect, but on that open space that’s where you feel infinity. It’s not a concept, it’s what you feel in spaces and it’s always changing.”

Ufan considers infinity the cradle of art, and gives more details: “As you can see my work is very simple. It didn’t start right that way. It became more and more simple. It’s just the basic elements now. I’ve reduced the amount that I touch the works more and more, and the parts that I haven’t touched increase. So there is a meeting between my touched and the parts that I haven’t touched and that meeting point creates vibration. So if you come in here and it’s quiet you won’t be looking at the work but you should feel the vibration and that vibration is infinity. So the works don’t represent or express infinity but you can feel infinity in the space. And that’s was important. They’re very simple, but making them smaller, energy in the space comes alive and that vibration is infinity. And that’s the starting point of art.”

At the Lisson Gallery exhibition, Lee Ufan work was considerable. The four large-scale paintings joined together created a chapel-like environment within the main atrium. The finely crushed stone that Lee mixes with his paints actually links up his two dimensional works to the three-dimensional sculptures.

Installation view, Lee Ufan at Lisson Gallery, London, 25 March - 9 May 2015, Courtesy the artist and Lisson Gallery

Installation view, Lee Ufan at Lisson Gallery, London, 25 March – 9 May 2015, Courtesy the artist and Lisson Gallery

In a dim light room, there was an installation of a large rock placed in front of a blank virgin canvas, each element connecting to each other into a relationship, elements that were not modified by artistic action – differentiating from the cautiously realised paintings.

Outside, in the interior courtyard, Lee Ufan created a kind of Asian garden, using another large stone onto a sheet of glass and manmade steel plates, which themselves are set directionless within a whole host of white marble chips, a scrupulously well-adjusted site-specific intervention.

There were also other paintings from the series Dialogues, the most gossiped of which was a canvas containing, apparently, one only semicircular small stroke. This minimalistic approach is so curated and it consists in deliberately limited and distilled gesture.

In the basement, there was a wide screen with an interesting documentary made in a museum, where Ufan was interviewed by a journalist and could explain his life-spanning work.

Lee Ufan is a Korean artist, critic, philosopher, and poet. He is born on 24th June 1936, in Haman, in South Korea. He was an important theorist and proponent of the Mono-ha (Japanese: “School of Things”) movement, based in Tokyo, of young artists from the late 1960s through the early ’70s. Lee built a body of artistic achievement across a wide range of mediums— painting, printmaking, sculpture, installation art, and art criticism.

He was a key figure on the development of South Korean art in the 1970s. In the late 1980s he began receiving international recognition through exhibitions in Europe and elsewhere around the world. His artistic status was reinforced even more in the 1990s with Mono-ha’s resurgent popularity in Europe and Japan. He is the third East Asian artist to be given a solo exhibition at the Guggenheim Museum in New York City (2011), which established him as a prominent figure in contemporary.

Lee was born and raised in a traditional hanok (Confucian-style home), and from childhood he was trained in traditional scholarly activity, including poetry, calligraphy, and painting. He was absorbed with reading and literature and desired to be an author.

However, his strong fascination with art brought him to study painting at Seoul National University’s College of Fine Arts. In 1956 he interrupted his studies to visit relatives in Japan. In 1958 he started to study philosophy at Nihon University in Tokyo, and graduated in 1961. Then he again turned to art, preferring visual representation to words as a means of expressing his ideas. During this period Lee painted and began making sculptures that used natural and industrial materials such as stone, steel, rubber, and glass.

In late 1960s he became associated with Mono-ha as its leading theorist. It was an important turning point in the

Installation view, Lee Ufan at Lisson Gallery, London, 25 March - 9 May 2015, Courtesy the artist and Lisson Gallery

Installation view, Lee Ufan at Lisson Gallery, London, 25 March – 9 May 2015, Courtesy the artist and Lisson Gallery

growth of modern art in South Korea and Japan. Lee established a studio in Paris in 1971 and in the following years divided his time mainly between Japan and France. In the 1980s his brushwork became more open and more unrestrained. In the 1990s, Lee began his Correspondance series, which employed segmented strokes and even wider margins than his earlier work. In 2006, he started his last minimalist series, Dialogue, again using mineral pigments on canvas.

Lee was a professor at Tama Art University in Tokyo from 1973 to 2007. His published works include the books The Search for Encounter (1971; new edition, 2000) and The Art of Encounter (2004; revised edition, 2008). Among the major awards given to Lee was the Japan Art Association’s Praemium Imperiale for painting (2001). In addition, he was made a Knight of the Order of Arts and Letters (1990). In 2010 the Lee Ufan Museum, designed by Andō Tadao, opened in Naoshima, Japan.

The exhibition of Lee Ufan was at the Lisson Gallery, Edgware Road, London,from 25th March until 9th May 2015.