David Franchi – Thursday, 22nd January 2015

Cedar Lewisohn © Cock and Bull Gallery, London

Cedar Lewisohn © Cock and Bull Gallery, London

Cedar Lewisohn exhibition ‘Plywood Transmission’ has an exciting perception of drawing and painting at the Cock ‘n’ Bull Gallery, London.

The artist takes inspiration from two different kinds of elements, primitives and medieval. Cedar Lewisohn represents in his work knights and nobles together with thugs and poor people.

‘Plywood Transmission’ exhibition displayed the works of Lewisohn on big paper and woodblocks.

The artist has been abroad many times. He likes Europe and likes travelling. Wherever he goes, he has a notebook with him and draws all figures and images of inspiration. Then later he transfers these drawings on carved woods and paper.

Lewisohn said: “I see the woodblocks as tools to make images from. But they are in a way images themselves. The woodblocks are a visual alphabet that is constantly expanding. Everything from Mesopotamian gods, Masonic symbols, scenes from places in London pertinent to me. The blocks are cut by hand with a router, and various woodcutting tools. I think I am a compulsive producer… I’m always drawing, writing, making things. The woodcuts and woodcut prints came out of a desire to slow the process down. I’m also attracted to the analogue nature of them. The very idea that they are not a digital, video, online, type of thing. I work with scale with the woodcuts and prints, because it’s unusual to see these types of objects so large.”

Although the words Primitive and primitivism are contested, Lewishon considers the woodblocks a form of oriental art, which is addressed to the future but with strong connection with the past.

The show was captivating and should pay a visit.

‘Plywood Transmission’ exhibition by Cedar Lewisohn was at the Cock ‘n’ Bull Gallery, Old Street, London, from 12th December 2014 until 9th January 2015.


David Franchi – Monday, 29th December 2014.

Mies Model Study, BW V, 2013/2014 © Joachim Brohm, co. Grimaldi Gavin, London

Mies Model Study, BW V, 2013/2014 © Joachim Brohm, co. Grimaldi Gavin, London

Vernacular and Modern’ is an interesting solo exhibition by Joachim Brohm, at the Grimaldi Gavin Gallery, London. The work is a sort of documentary about a Mies van der Rohe project of German allotment buildings, dismissed because of the Great Depression, but realized in the late 1970s. Together with the new series Mies Model Study, an entirely re-edited series ‘Typology 1979’ by the artist is displayed in London for the first time.

The new solo exhibition at Grimaldi Gavin, London, develops the Joachim Brohm his ongoing concern with architectural structures and in particular with the relationship between architecture as an environment for recreation. Vernacular, in fact, is a kind of architecture concerned with domestic and functional rather than public or monumental buildings. This exhibition brings together and counterpoints a brand new body of work that explores the modernism of Ludwig Mies van der Rohe with Brohm’s series Typology.

The story about ‘Vernacular and Modern’ is that more than 80 years ago, Mies van der Rohe took part in a competition to design a club house for the newly founded Krefeld Golf Club. Due to the Great Depression however, the house was never built. In 2013, Mies’ design was finally put into practice under the artistic directorship of Belgian architect Paul Robbrecht at the planned site on the outskirts of Krefeld. The model was built according to the original plans as a walkable architecture model at a scale of 1:1, thus creating a highly exceptional architectural exhibition.

Joachim Brohm spent time photographing the temporary model during 2013, creating a body of work entitled Mies Model Study consisting of both colour and black and white images. Fascinated with the rough nature of some parts of the structure as a contemporary interpretation of the incomplete Mies sketches, Brohm’s images gracefully reference the aesthetic language of modernist architectural photography of the 20th century.

Brohm’s fully re-edited series Typology 1979 will now be shown in London for the first time together with the new series Mies Model Study.

Typology 1979 is the retrospective title Brohm gave to a series of photographs he took in 1979 while studying at the Folkwang Hochschule in Essen and to a later monograph he published on the work. The series is devoted to recreational places and the activities of people living in the artist’s immediate area around the industrial Ruhr. Human presence is slight, even ethereal, as hardly any people can be spotted.

Joachim Brohm rose to prominence in the early 1980s as one of the first photographers in Europe to shoot exclusively in colour. From the late 1970s Brohm connected the visual possibilities of colour photography with a newly defined “everyday cultural landscape.” Major recent shows include Intractable and Untamed: Documentary Photography around 1979, Museum Ludwig, Cologne in 2014 and Re-Seeing the Permanent Collection: The Viewer’s Choice, Haggerty Museum of Art, Milwaukee, WI, USA; Industrial Worlds. MAST Collection, Bologna, Italy; This Infinite World, curated by Paul Graham. Fotomuseum Winterthur, Switzerland; Concrete – Photography and Architecture in 2013.

Vernacular and Modern’ exhibition, by Joachim Brohm, is ongoing until the 10th January 2014 at the Grimaldi Gavin Gallery, Mayfair, London.


David Franchi – Saturday, 20th December 2014

Tree (no 12) (PC146), 2014 © Tony Bevan, co. Ben Brown Fine Arts, London

Tree (no 12) (PC146), 2014 © Tony Bevan, co. Ben Brown Fine Arts, London

Trees and Archives is an interesting exhibition, at Ben Brown Fine ArtsLondon. Made of fifteen large scale works by British artistTony Bevan, the Ben Brown Fine Arts exhibition displays works of refined graphics with simple style. Reminding the Chinese approach to painting, from which Bevan takes inspiration, ‘Trees and Archives’ is a research into these two themes, trees and archives.

As per the Asian art style which invites to meditation, the rarefied figures depicted are a clever blend of old Chinese style brought into a Modern solution. The body of work of Tony Bevan relies on the irregular quality of charcoal and the vividness of his own pure acrylic pigments. Bevanpresses charcoal into the pores of not stretched canvases on the floor of his Deptford studio. He creates fragments and flakes that are fixed with the acrylic medium. This technique gives a particular effect: watching the canvas from far it seems made of one only pictures, while approaching the painting it emerges it is made of small pieces and crumble.

Whilst travelling in China between 2007 and 2008, the artist came across an ancient tree in the courtyard of a temple in the district of Dujiangyan, Sichuan Province, and he felt irremediably attracted by its forms and the architectural potential, together with the ancestral associations of the plant.

The Archives 2014 is the Bevan’s latest series. It is clearly inspired by the work of Jorge Luis Borges. It depicts a grid of bookshelves expanding to the edges of the canvas and beyond, invoking the surreal atmosphere of Borges’ text.

Tony Bevan (born 1951) studied at the Bradford School of Art (1968–71), Goldsmiths’ College (1971–74) and the

Archive (PC142), 2014 © Tony Bevan, co. Ben Brown Fine Arts, London

Archive (PC142), 2014 © Tony Bevan, co. Ben Brown Fine Arts, London

Slade School of Fine Art (1974–76). Since 1976, Bevan has exhibited widely, holding his first soloexhibition U.S. shows at Ronald Feldman Gallery in 1988 and L.A. Louver in 1989. Bevan has also exhibited at the ICA, London, (1987-88), Staatsgalerie Moderner Kunst Haus der Kunst, Munich (1989), Whitechapel Art Gallery, London (1993), and the Kunsthalle, Kiel (1988). A major retrospective was presented by the Institut Valencia d’Art Modern (IVAM) in Valencia, Spain (2005).

In March 2007, Tony Bevan was elected as a Royal Academician of the Royal Academy of Arts in London. His work is included in many prominent international collections such as the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles, The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, The National Portrait Gallery and the Tate Gallery, London.

Founded in 2004, Ben Brown Fine Arts prominently positioned itself on the contemporary art scene with the sole UK representation of artists and it is also renowned for its strong expertise in 20th Century Italian Art.

Trees and Archives’ exhibition by Tony Bevan is ongoing, at Ben Brown Fine Arts, Mayfair, London, until 3rd January 2015.


David Franchi – Thursday, 4th December 2014.

10268700_10152899616661151_5312410720790955791_nIt is an interesting exhibition ‘Persephone, Queen of the Underworld’ by Kirsten Glass, at Cock ‘n’ Bull Gallery, Shoreditch, London.

This exhibition gives an impression of underworld, as soon as you get inside the gallery. The works are made using dark colours, drawn pattern are taken from sacred geometry, reduced is the palette.

The work of this artist is often made overnight in her studio. Kirsten Glass wants to avoid daytime disturbance and feel immersed differently. This working method allows the artist to focus on subjects such as the geometry logic which is transformed into an abstract outcome, conveying the production to Middle -earth area.

Kirsten Glass said: “I feed the paintings this ritual geometry and I kind of dream into them until they begin to transform into something I didn’t design. I’m interested in feeling the pulse or vibration and atmosphere of a painting, so feeling its presence, and I imagine the surfaces as screens or veils or interfaces between you and something beyond a message or verbally expressible meaning. I think Painting is good at that.”

There is a sexual side on these paintings, although it is difficult to clearly define it. The forms represented are definitely coming from feminine subjects located nearby a metaphysical area. There is a hidden message that brings the mind to a sexual feeling, passing through the sacred geometry used.

In the exhibition ‘Persephone, Queen of the Underworld’ there is a hidden thread that goes beyond reasoning. It leads to conclusions of a sexual nature in the form, not so rational, but sensitive, that of the senses, which release the soul of the beholder a slight sense of libidinal pleasure.

In this new series of paintings, all from 2014, the ‘Flowers of life’ pattern, endlessly repeats and produces a multiplicity of possible transformations becoming variously a veil, setting, grid, flow or form.

Glass used the show’s title, ‘Persephone, Queen of the Underworld’, to illustrate the work’s imagined retreat into an underworld, a psychic space where cyclical processes take place.

However, Persephone was a myth that glorified together the value of marriage (six months to the side of the groom), the fertility of Nature (Spring Awakening), the rebirth and renewal of life after death. These reasons made the goddess Persephone particularly popular and venerated.

Maybe the artist would like to produce another series which is more vivid and colorful and gives also the bright side of life.

‘Persephone, Queen of the Underworld’  by Kirsten Glass is ongoing at the Cock ‘n’ Bull Gallery, Shoreditch, London, until the 6th December 2014.