Sunday, 31st May 2015.

HIX Award © Cock'n'Bull Gallery, London

HIX Award © Cock’n’Bull Gallery, London

The HIX Award is a professional occasion for artists to exhibit their works. It has been created for current students and recent graduates. It is a chance to participate to a group exhibition at the very significant CNB Gallery, in Shoreditch, London. The work will then be presented to a panel of esteemed and diverse judges including Tracey Emin, who will decide on the 2015 HIX Award winner.

Participants will also win £500 of HIX dining vouchers, a trip to HIX townhouse in Lyme Regis and a feature in the autumn issue of HIX magazine. The HIX Award 2015 edition will be the third of this appealing competition.

HIX Award gives the opportunity to exhibit to a network of famous judges. The judging panel is extremely broad, with influential personalities, and more judges are to be announced soon.

The HIX Award itself was designed by Damien Hirst, a friend of Mark Hix. The trophy spells out ‘HIX’ – the finger on tongs being the ‘H’, the champagne flute the ‘I’ and the knife and fork the ‘X’.

Above CNB Gallery, Tramshed has two pieces of artwork by Hirst specifically made for the restaurant. The monumental ‘Cock and Bull’ formaldehyde work, which is elevated above diners of the restaurant, was created for the opening of Tramshed and is part of Hirst’s ‘Natural History’ series.

To apply, visit the page Applications are accepted until midnight on Friday the 10th of July 2051; those received after this date will not be considered.

Located in the basement of Mark Hix’s Shoreditch restaurant Tramshed, CNB Gallery was opened in 2012 as a dynamic space for contemporary artists. CNB Gallery gives to artists the opportunity to showcase their work, considering from the established to the neophyte.

Mark Hix is one of the most famous chefs and restaurateurs in London, but also a passionate art admirer and collector. He opened the gallery at the same time he opened restaurant Tramshed, London, in 2012. Above CNB Gallery, Tramshed, London, has two pieces of artwork by Hirst purposely created for the restaurant opening, the monumental ‘Cock and Bull’ formaldehyde work.

Director of CNB Gallery, Rebecca Lidert, shares his vision to build a flourishing and inspirational space that supports artists whilst also referring to a broad audience.

Conditions for application are the following:

  • You can only enter one piece of artwork in the competition.
  • The work submitted must have been created within the last three years.
  • The artist can submit up to 5 images of their chosen piece.
  • The images can be sent in any format, but each image must be smaller than 10MB.
  • At least one photograph must show the completed piece in its entirety with a blank background.
  • Work must be available for the group exhibition at CNB Gallery (drop off work on 3rd August 2015, collected on 4th September).
  • Expenses and transportation of the artworks are the responsibility of the artist.
  • Applications close on Friday 10th July at midnight, we will not be able to consider applications submitted after this deadline.
  • If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to email us at:


The HIX Award is at the Cock’n’Bull Gallery, Shoreditch, London – applications deadline is the 10th July 2015.


David Franchi – Monday, 11th May 2015.

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

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

The exhibition of Anish Kapoorat the Lisson Gallery, London, was fascinating.

Anish Kapoor made a drastic return to painting, marked by this exhibition at the Lisson Gallery, London.

Moving far away from his usual style, Anish Kapoor has produced works that are connected to the body, or parts of it. At the Lisson Gallery, the exhibition is a continuing project that examines the body and the control of it, and also its dichotomy with the mind.

The Lisson Gallery exhibition displays new large canvases with livid red and white resin and silicon paintings, which are the result of an exhaustive creative development. These works have different level of interpretation, bringing to mind both the raw internal parts of the body but also the intellect. They recall the humanist and realistic style of Rembrandt, Soutine and Bacon, and the wider cultural reality of social and political painful turmoil.

For this exhibition, Anish Kapoor also produced sculptures in marble, others in metal, reminding stylised body orifices, which are impressive for their simplicity, but also for the spontaneity.

For Lisson Gallery, Anish Kapoor realised pieces that are connected to the body and its inner parts, in an exteriority and interiority alternate. In this exhibition he diverges from its accustomed colossal to a more confidential approach.

Reshaping the architecture, in the past Kapoor used mirrors and made large stainless steel works both reflecting, particularly spaces and viewers back. On the line of the Greek myth of Narcissus, his work was strongly connected to the image of the human beings.

Therefore, Kapoor analyses the body and how it relates to the environment. He said: “Our body, for each of us,

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

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

is a central measure of how we are in the world. Even though we’re carrying on ourselves in physical presences, we are always living in a kind of fantasy: a fantasy about the interior of body, a fantasy about its relationship to the world. Sculpture fundamentally is looking at that, questioning those fantasies of what the body is, or what the body might be. Therefore, I’ve been very engaged with the question of interior. The interior is always illusory. It’s not real. It’s dark, maybe, sometimes. It’s bloody, all the times. And it’s seems to me that’s a project which is quite elongated: I’ve worked and worked and worked, over and over again. And it keeps leading to new possibilities. So, this is where I am now.”

After many years of illusion, in these present days there is a lack of ideologies. The general debate languishes. The society is in short of new good ideas, and the body is the last resource, as it belongs to the person and can be modified by the person only, in a sort of glorified privacy. Anish Kapoor said: “This exhibition partially gives an answer. The body is the last territory, that is truly ours, is our body. And yet it also questions that. There is a certain amount of uncertainty around: is it really ours? Is it really in our possession, if you like? I am not sure, what the answer to that is, because that’s a complex socio-political issue. But I believe, of course, that art has a lot to do with it. Art helps us, in some ways, to define our sense of self. And I think it’s a conversation we have to engage in somehow, we can’t avoid it.”

Sir Anish Kapoor is one of the most influential sculptors of his generation. He is born in Bombay, India, on 12th March 1954 and lives and works in London. He studied at Hornsey College of Art (1973–77) followed by postgraduate studies at Chelsea School of Art, London (1977–78). He won the Turner Prize (1991) and was elected Royal Academician (1999). He represented Britain in the XLIV Venice Biennale (1990), when he was awarded the Premio Duemila Prize. He received the Praemium Imperiale (2011). He has honorary fellowships from the London Institute and Leeds University (1997), the University of Wolverhampton (1999) and the Royal Institute of British Architecture (2001). He was awarded an honorary doctorate degree from the University of Oxford in 2014.

Kapoor was ordered Commander of the British Empire in 2003, received the French Ordre des Arts et des Lettres (2011) and the Padma Bhushan (2012) India’s third highest civilian honour. He received a Knighthood in the 2013 Birthday Honours for services to visual arts.

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

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

In 2002 he received the Unilever Commission for the Turbine Hall at Tate Modern. Notable public sculptures include ‘Cloud Gate’ (Millennium Park, Chicago); ‘Sky Mirror’ exhibited in Rockefeller Center, New York City (2006) and Kensington Gardens, London (2010); ‘Tenemos’ at Middlehaven, Middlesbrough; ‘Leviathan’, at the Grand Palais in Paris in 2011; and ‘ArcelorMittal Orbit’, commissioned as a permanent artwork for the Olympic Park of London (2012).

Kapoor operates independently from any gallery. However, he has a business relationship with Lisson Gallery in London since long time.

Lisson Gallery is one of the most influential and longest-running international contemporary art galleries in the world, established in 1967 by Nicholas Logsdail. It pioneered the early careers of important Minimal and Conceptual artists, such as Sol LeWitt and Richard Long, as well as those of significant British sculptors from Anish Kapoor and Tony Cragg to a younger generation, led by Ryan Gander and Haroon Mirza. In addition to its two exhibition spaces in London, one in Milan and a fourth gallery opened in New York in 2015.

Anish Kapoor exhibition was at Lisson Gallery, Edgware Road, London, from 25th March until 9th May 2015.


David Franchi – Monday, 4th May 2015.

Background #20 by Dawit Abebe, 2015 © Kristin Hjellegjerde Gallery, London.

Background #20 by Dawit Abebe, 2015 © Kristin Hjellegjerde Gallery, London.

“Background 2” exhibition byDawit Abebe was a sold out, at KH – Kristin Hjellegjerde Gallery, London.

The KH – Kristin Hjellegjerde GalleryLondon, proposed “Background 2”, an amazingexhibition by Dawit Abebe. It had different but involving ideas.Abebe is an Ethiopian artist who works and lives in Addis Ababa. He did not move to another country. Therefore his work maintains a sort of genuineness, and returns a fresh and uncorrupted point of view on changes happening in the area.

Dawit Abebe, in fact, is exhibiting also at Pangaea II, the latest show of the Saatchi Gallery, London. The focus of Pangaea II is the new developments on the African and South American continents.

In a sort of witty ‘spin off’, Kristin Hjellegjerde Gallery, London, presents this artist of stunning abilities – both for the ideas expressed but also in the technique using the media. The subject of his work is the contemporary complicated relationship between history and technology, and the ways in which these two elements live together today.

The exhibition “Background 2” was made of backward portraits. Abebe has also chosen different age groups for his subjects, putting the accent on the older generation. There were eighteen canvases on display, in which the depicted subjects were man only and taken from the back.

Dawit Abebe said: “From the back, because in our culture it means they are looking at the past. In recent years Africa has seen big developments. I feel that the coming of technology has seen a rapid transformation in Ethiopia. The younger people know less of our own history and are more involved with pop culture and social media.”

The Ethiopian artist explored the ways in which rural communities of African countries, including Ethiopia, Madagascar or Kenya, have been affected by technology progresses – predominantly as a symbol of wealth – and, in turn, the way it has impacted on the people behaviour. Ethiopia has 3,000 years of history, passed down both through written and oral tradition, and the older generation knows more than the younger.

As in many other areas, technology has disrupted the process of transmission of oral histories. Abebe feels that the older generation could play a significant role in healing this course. The artist highlights the problem of the lost of the tradition ongoing in Africa. It is an issue that Western Countries have faced already during the Industrial Revolution (a transition from rural to industrial society), and to which they tried to remedy the problem by using heritage centres, folk and tradition hubs, founded all over especially in Europe, for example the Cecil Sharpe House in London.

Consequently, “Background 2” exhibition is mainly focused on the loss of the past. The backward paintings all of them

Background #16 by Dawit Abebe, 2015 © Kristin Hjellegjerde Gallery, London

Background #16 by Dawit Abebe, 2015 © Kristin Hjellegjerde Gallery, London

have in a corner a page of a real school book. When visiting the local market, Abebe found used school books and newspapers. He then returned to his past life, what had been taught to him in school and comparing it to the present and how it evolved. As in the Panta Rei concept of the Greek philosopher Heraclitus, Abebe realised that there is a constant changing of life, but posed the question on how it affect us today: throwing away those books it means to put aside the history.

Furthermore, in each work there is a car license plate, visible only to the audience, showing the interest of Abebe in how numbers have come to define us. Today we have numbers and codes for everything in our lives, including car license plates. In Ethiopia, in particular private cars are seen as a status symbol and most of them belong to government officials, merchants and so forth. Therefore, here car plates are used as personal codes for each person, a marker of who they are.

The style of Abebe is very interesting. With his strokes and background paintings, made of vivid colours, he renders the African shades: the sky, the street markets, the desert, etc. The way he uses the brush for the lines or to spread the colours reminds the Egon Schiele paintings; but also one of the most famous Italian illustrator Angelo Stano, author of the best seller comic Dylan Dog.

Dawit Abebe graduated from the Addis Ababa University School of Fine Art and Design with a diploma in painting, sculpture, graphics, photography and industrial design. Since 2001, he has been a full-time artist in residence at the Habesha Art Studio in his native Ethiopia, and has also worked with UNICEF to hold workshops for street children in Arba Minch, Jinka and Addis Ababa. “Background 2” is Abebe’s first solo show and second exhibition at KH – Kristin Hjellegjerde Gallery, London.

“Background 2” exhibition by Dawit Abebe was at KH – Kristin Hjellegjerde Gallery, Wandsworth, London, from 26th March until 2nd May 2015.


David Franchi – Monday, 20th April 2015.

Raul © images Cock 'n' Bull Gallery, London

Raul © images Cock ‘n’ Bull Gallery, London

The exhibition “A thousand faces” by Raul was a success, at the Cock’n’Bull Gallery, London.

The subjects of “A thousand faces” are visages of people that inspired Raul and that he depicted with his own approach, then exhibiting at the CNB Gallery, London.

Raul adopted his style from the graffiti, to be considered as the processing of a higher pataphysical, science fictional or surreal form of culture. For the CNB Gallery exhibition, Raul uses the shape of the face to summarize the vigorous and primal philosophy of his work.

The artist uses sharp-cutting colours to produce portraits in a graffiti style. For “A thousand faces” exhibition, primitive is the adjective to be used to define the style of the works on display. But also it refers to the 1980s movements of New York, the gallery culture that moved to the street and subways, and vice versa.

The artists himself agrees with this definition of his work: “From primitive to that of today, graffiti is to me a free form of expression, capable of breaking barriers and rules, thus raising these gestures to forms of higher culture.”

For Raul, freedom of expression means any form it manifests itself: it can be surreal or fictional as it has no boundaries, thus becoming pataphysical through the affirmation of the absolute freedom of the artist. Even a simple sign of colour can have a surreal meaning.

Therefore, also the works of De Chirico are of inspiration for Raul, together with many others, such as A One (Anthony Clark), Keith Haring and Kenny Sharf, and photographers Helmut Newton, Terry Richardson.

For the CNB Gallery show, Raul created a whole environment by painting even the floor, using his own specific style. Furthermore, interesting is the video of the making of realised for the setting up of “A thousand faces” exhibition, that can be seen on the gallery website.

With a sketchbook of his energetic work, Raul introduced himself to Rebecca Lidert, Director of the CNB Gallery, and to the staff, during autumn 2014. He was immediately accepted for an exhibition.

Italian artist Raul, whose real name is Marco Lullo, is born in Pescara (Italy) 1980. He holds a degree in Communications and previously worked in fashion, founding Reception (2008). In 2011, he moved to Miami (US), and started to exhibit his works. At present he lives and works between Pescara, London and Miami.

A thousand faces” exhibition by Raul was at the CNB – Cock’n’Bull Gallery,London, from 6th March until 17th April 2015.