Copyright © 2016 Frameless Gallery

Breakfast in Tehran presents a selection of drawings, collage, photography and printmaking from a group of new and established Iranian artists living in Iran and exhibiting in London together for the first time. The exhibition considers the representation of women in contemporary Iranian art, and demonstrates how accepted images and interpretations of femininity are being subverted.


Since the Islamic Revolution, images of turbaned mullahs, ayatollahs and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad present Iran as an extreme patriarchy whose narratives are shaped and written solely by religious men. We occasionally hear stories in the media of a few prominent Iranian women like lawyer Shirin Ebadi, writer Marjane Satrapi, or the artist Shirin Neshat, but of the millions of women who live in Iran we hear very little. What does this silence hide about the lives of this quietened mass of humanity?


Everywhere in Iran women are active and visible, apparent and hidden. Perhaps they are walking or driving along the teeming city streets or quiet country lanes, looking out of the window of a high-rise apartment at the street below, or bargaining in a shop, or petitioning in the courts, or just sitting down to smoke a cigarette after breakfast in their homes. Breakfast in Tehran presents work by male and female Iranian artists, each depicting the predicament of women in contemporary Iran.


These depictions aim neither to play to the standard ‘western’ idea of them as totally oppressed, nor claim that they are more liberated than we realise. Instead the exhibition acknowledges their unique situation where centuries of strictly defined roles, combined with decades of the Islamic Republic operating on a globalised stage have resulted in a strangely paradoxical environment. Women are active in all levels of society and the traditional roles of ‘wife’ and ‘mother’ are only a part of the lives of many women. The Iranian feminist movement has been politically and socially engaged for some years, and visual artists are now bringing this activism into the cultural arena and changing and subverting the traditional representation of women in Iran.


Exhibition curated by Janet Rady

Azadeh Akhlaghi Me as the Other prefers, C-type print 2010

Construction for lost After Lanyon - photo sensitive paper 43 x 30 cm

“Obsessed by images of humanity on the very edge of disintegration, Tom de Freston is audacious enough to convey our most haunted fears about a world struggling for survival in the twenty-first century.”

Richard Cork, August 2011.


Creating stages for sinister players, Tom de Freston orchestrates violent spectacles undermined by the absurdity of the participating cast. Recent works have drawn on the themes and work of William Shakespeare. The complicated tragedy of the human condition witnessed in King Lear, the fanciful confusion and absurdity of A Midsummer Night’s Dream and the murderous Macbeth greatly inform the works chosen for the artist’s first solo exhibition with BREESE LITTLE.


Since completing both a BA in Fine Art at Leeds Metropolitan University (2005) and an MA in History of Art at the University of Cambridge (2007), de Freston has worked tirelessly to populate an idiosyncratic iconography of raging demons which run riot across his canvases. Grotesque and dehumanised acts of malevolence are portrayed with a vivid and colourful style that seems endlessly at odds with the image it constructs. De Freston revels in the illusionistic possibilities of paint, cavorting through artistic, literary and theatrical sources summoning dark visions of humanity.

ON FALLING, installation view

Y B A 2.0  S E R I E S :


FEBRUARY |  MARCH 2012


Frameless Gallery presents the Young British Artists 2.0 Series, which include the Catlin Art Prize 2011/12 finalists. 'The YBA days of pickled sharks and stardom are long gone, but as a new art guide shows, there is top talent for a soberer time.' The Guardian 



Artists:


Emma ES Taylor

Katrine Roberts

David Teager-Portman

Amy Gadney

Camilla Emson

Adeline de Monseignat

Julia Vogl

Sarah Pager

Thomas Adam

Adeline de Monseignat  Baby Hairy Eye Balls, 2011 Vintage fur, pillow filler, glass 30cm (D)

In an age where technology has changed our understanding of the spaces we inhabit and the relationships we maintain with these and what is contained within them, the presence of the human gesture becomes no more than a trace.

The artists in this exhibition explore through different media, how forms in contemporary culture become ‘other’, creating a plethora of realities that overlap, and are impossible to distinguish from the ‘real’.

Space becomes a product of representation, which can be used as a social tool, organizing and imposing a schema upon which we orientate ourselves within a multitude of changing landscapes. ‘Ideology’ is then conceived in terms of a space of representation that the subject inhabits, a limitless space, which the subject negotiates his/her way through. Everyday spaces and the activities we engage in end up creating narratives to an extent predetermined by the contemporary environment itself. Consequently, the authenticity of our experiences, of both the artwork and life beyond the gallery, is put into question.

Some works engage in an investigation of the self as a product of habitual patterns, where experience, memory and social structures interweave. Others explore the arising contradictions between machine memory, human memory, collective memory, and the relics – both physical and symbolic – left behind from a different era.  Overall all works explore the shifting boundaries between being an enclosure that structures our engagement with the world, and being a threshold into other realities.

Text by Catalina Barroso Luque

Heidi Rada A Nagy F 2012, paper, steel, thread  7 x 3 x 2cm (7-9 pieces)

"We're not facing our problems. We've got Prozac politics." John Gray


According to the Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary someone lively and excited may safely be described as being 'on Prozac'. 


In the midst of the current economic chaos, many governments are in a desperate crisis management mode whilst failing to fully recognize the developing global ecological peril caused by an unsustainable demand for resources to fuel the rapidly failing economic systems. 


Where do contemporary artists position themselves within this global context? Do they provide a Prozac-like distraction or tackle these issues head on?


Contemporary artists institute almost countless positions from where their research and ideas begin. Prozac Politics formulates a relationship between eleven contemporary artists finding connections between their differing practices that originate with diverse starting points be they political, ethical, architectural or technological. These diverse artists find a shared commonality within the expressive potential to combine concept and method that transforms not only imagery but also the viewers’ responses to them.


Artists:


Alex Allan

Liam Allan

Chris Bryant

Magda Blasinska

Ronald Binnie

Ernesto Canovas

Daniel Crews

Calum Mc Clure

Gracjana Rejmer

Jiho Won

Seo Won

Gracjana Rejmer Dark Times, oil on paper, 145 x 145 cm, 2012

Jiho Won, installation, dimensions variable, 2012

INDOOR MOVEMENTS :


DRAWINGS BY WO XIAOHAI

JUNE 2012



The artist and lecturer Wu Xiaohai has sketched a special series of “Indoor Movements” to show his vision of sports and China.


Indoor Movements mirrors all kinds of “movements” in our lives and the strength they generate, as well as their many influences on us, society and the environment. In basic terms, sports take place in various venues either indoors or outdoors. Here, what the artist means by “indoor sports” actually take place in our brain. Some are exercises of the limbs coordinated by the brain, some are automatic movements of legs, and some are movements of just lips and tongue.

 

The Indoor Movements series is also a play on words, which mirrors the many movements in our lives, and the influence of these movements on our culture with the artist’s drawings specifically attempting to create a film montage effect. His work has been shown in many different countries and his animation video Mama, I Feel Sick, which was purchased by the French government for the national art collection, will be shown as part of the exhibition.


Wu Xiaohai, also a lecturer at the Central Academy of Fine Arts in China, will be making a personal appearance at the festival, with an artist’s talk on the “Indoor Movements” series being held at Frameless Gallery in the evening on Monday 25th June 2012.

 

Wu Xiaohai's exhibition Indoor Movements is part of 2012 Chinese Visual Festival exploring the Olympics and China through 17 selected documentary films, the Indoor Movements exhibition.

Wo Xiaohai Morning, drawing on paper, 2012

LIGHTS IN THE DUSK ...

FADE IN / FADE OUT:


GROUP EXHIBITION

JULY 2012




Presenting a framework with two scenarios, the works in the exhibition float between a show and a narrative of worlds experienced by the artists. Shifting away from a consolidated private view and display format, the curatorial project aims to recast the focus back towards the practice of each artist, offering an additional second glance through a re-configuration of the first installation. The ‘exhibition’ charts the discourses activated by a group of young artists from Asia. Lights in the Dusk consists of work ranging from poetic descriptions of the quotidian; the mixing and conflation of an historical art canon; a sensory deconstruction of portraiture; through to a play between disappearance and presence within an urban space.


As the title suggests, rather than two detached exhibitions, the scenario opens an intermediary space between two similar but different frequencies of art-viewing.


The second show will follow and respond to the first, thereby deepening the interplay of gestures and media employed by the artists. Participating in Lights in the Dusk is a collection of artists working in a number of different capacities brought together to share new ideas responding to a profoundly complex and current relationship between the East and the West. Each artist has presented individual readings into this complexity. With the exhibition unfolding in an episodic fashion, the space of possibility is left open for more differences to emerge.


Artists:


Billy Tang

Hanqiu Xiao

Hiram Wong

Ilsu Hwang

Jay Hyung Kim

Kenichi Shimizu

Mu Tian

Wai Wong

Wen Wu

Kenichi Shimizu Untitled steel, 80 x 20 x 20cm 2012

ONE OF THE FORGOTTEN


GROUP EXHIBITION

AUGUST 2012


Admittedly, the intention was to celebrate the infinite

potential of mankind, but the result is a collection of

thoughts that reflect the consequences of human nature on land and man.


Perhaps it is the need to create,

Destruct and  narrate,

Instructed by impulse

To rationalize,

the definite against the indeterminable

To be graceful in flight and descent

To erase an eye sore

To manipulate the power of seduction

and the threat of repulsion

To be complete,

It is a long way up the hierarchy of needs

And yet, perhaps,

the only fear is to be

One of the Forgotten*


Artists:


Ronin Cho

Meryl Donoghue

David George

Melissa Henderson

Rae Hicks

Kai Kim

Hannah Luxton

Sophie Percival

Spencer Rowell


Exhibition curated by Mary George

Spencer Rowell ‘Plate 18’ C-type print, 1963

Victoria Kovalenko Breath 35x35” Hahnemuhle Pearl Print, limited edition of 4, 2012

PULSE OF A SEQUENCE


VICTORIA KOVALENKO

PHOTOGRAPHY


OCTOBER | NOVEMBER 2012



Part of Photomonth 2012 Pulse of a sequence is a visual study of time by Victoria Kovalenko. She documents the subtle sequence of breath, the choreographed sequence of dance and the instinctive sequence of play. Using repetition, Victoria creates a continuous fabric of unbroken reality.


The repetition asserts itself on the viewer, determined to be noticed, determined to be followed. In this consistency, in this assertiveness, there is a narrative. It is a story of change. A story of simple moments that reassure everything can just ‘be’.


Through sequences, the cold abstract is nurtured to have a sun-kissed warmth. The surreal fluidity of the photographs further imprints the awareness of time and change on the viewer. Through layers and visual similarity, Victoria subtly introduces the new.


Pulse of a sequence is a visual reminder of change. In the narrative, there is a pulsating prayer, To capture the core, To tame the energy of uncertainty into ‘Absolute Unbroken Continuity’. - Mary George


Exhibition curated by Mary George

ABSENCE VS PRESENCE


APRIL  2013


Absence Versus Presence looks at absence as a way to renegotiate presence.


The artists explore absence within memory, behavioural pattern, performance, preconception and deliberate physical withdrawal as an impetus to create presence.


In this light, absence or ignorance is not all together pervasive.


There is a promise, if everything else fails,


absence could trigger ‘change’,


an opportunity to feel ‘awake’,


to create something ‘new’,


to assemble ‘the whole’.


Artists:


Ronin Cho

Cale De Iser

Sunyoung Hwang

Junghwa Lee

Steve Pettengell

Alexander Stavrou

Nick Roberts

Fay Shin



Exhibition curated by Mary George

Ronin Cho ‘Fleshly Response’ silicone, steel, motor, micro processor 63x58x178cm, 2012

Nosco | Frameless


MARCELO JACOME


XYZ-T


JUNE 2013

Building upon the acclaim from Marcelo Jacome’s recent shows in Buenos Aires and Rio de Janeiro in participation with Gallery Nosco, we are proud to host his highly anticipated debut solo show in the UK.


Marcelo lands in the UK committed to the Paper Group Show with his impressive Pipas installation proving to be a rich addition to Charles Saatchi’s collection. The artist is excited to further enhance his artistic expression in the UK with his first London solo show, which will include his new paintings with a small selection of 3d paper drawings “Quasidobras”.


Seeking to continue the research that he has been developing, Marcelo Jacome proposes new paintings that draw parallels to Candomblé* whilst simultaneously questioning space-time contraction. Taking as starting point the ephemeral, the autonomy of color and the depth, XYZ-T seeks to decompose these four dimensions that guarantee our existence.


With works that question the point, line, depth and time, Marcelo proposes a small cutout of his production, with a good opportunity to witness some changes and new choices that the artist begins to envision in relation to the continuation of his poetic and conceptual repertoire.


Marcelo Jàcome


Born in 1980, Rio de Janeiro where he currently lives and works. Marcelo developed his artistic language through collages, objects and installations. His work takes into consideration the relations between lines and curves, places and voids, inside and outside, for dissolution of form and the autonomy of the color.


*Candomblé: an African-Brazilian religion combining African, Roman Catholic, and indigenous Brazilian, elements; specifically : the ceremony connected with this religion.


Estirados 03, 2013 Ribbons on wooden stretchers 150 x 140 cm

Estirados Ditpych 01, 2013 Ribbons on wooden stretchers 25 x 25 / 30 x 40 cm

LES AVENTURES A VENIR


TOM LEAMON



JULY  2013


Frameless Gallery presents Les aventures á venir a unique exhibition of paintings and sculpture by British contemporary artist Tom Leamon. 


This collection of new works are both thought provoking and playful. They are experiments into the deconstruction of the human form, on both a physical and psychological level. 


The exhibition takes you on a  compelling  journey into the dark depths of the human psyche , it contorts your senses and leaves you with an overwhelming thirst to peal back one more layer of paint and discover more. 

From Paris with Lust, 2013 oil on canvas, 55 x 45 cm

Nosco | Frameless


INTIMATE


OCTOBER  2013



Frameless Gallery and Gallery Nosco are proud to present intimate a group exhibition of international emerging artists Peter Pumpler, Andreea Talpeanu, Felippe Moraes, Tom Leamon, Camilla Emson, Cale de Iser, Mark Davey, Charlotte Charbonnel, Peter Jecza, Lauren Seiden, Rita Grosse-Ruyken and Paul Hazelton.


The exhibition celebrates the intimacy between the artist and his materials and techniques. The choice of the material and its processing becomes the means for expressing the artist’s individual relationship with the world around. Artist and material become one.


On display will be a striking collection of sculpture, installation, drawing and painting. To coincide with the Frieze Art Fair 2013, intimate will be a one-time opportunity to see and admire all these artists in a unique show.

Lauren Seiden Flat Fold #2 & #3 graphite on paper 10 x 11’ 2013

Rita Grosse-Ruyken Aspiration II solid gold and silver,  2013

DICHOTOMY


Jack Spencer Ashworth


FEBRUARY 2014




Jack’s work reconciles his passion for painting and preoccupation with the human form, with his interest in architecture and takes the form of large oil paintings of figures distorted and abstracted within architectural space.


Frameless is pleased to host Jack’s first solo exhibition, bringing together a mixture of paintings and drawings - old and new - as well as sculpture: a  medium which the artist has been experimenting with recently.

Haemorrhage V pen on paper, 70 x 50cm 2013

Nosco | Frameless


REPENTISTA #1

Emerging Contemporary Artists from Brazil


Kings Court 2 - 16 Goodge Street W1


EXHIBITION: 7 - 20 FEBRUARY



A known figure in Brazilian popular culture, Repentista is a poet, an artist of words and improvisation. Using the challenge to the other as the starting point of his creations, he appropriates situations, words, gestures of people standing around to engage audience and stand out from the others. In this show, Repentista represents the mastery and technique necessary to perform any activity in order to seem sudden, when in fact there is a very elaborate work behind it.


Repentista is a collaborative effort that aims to develop a platform to showcase Brazilian contemporary artistic production. With a cast of as varied artists as Tulio Pinto, Rodrigo Sassi, Sofia

Borges, Rodrigo Bueno, Felippe Moraes, Guilherme Dable, Ana Holck , Gabriel Netto, Pedro Varela, Chico Togni, Luis Roque and Rodrigo Matheus, the intention is to give visibility to these artists, many of them in first London appearance.


In the show these artists – just like the Repentista – incorporate tensions and possibilities of the environment where they are to propose conceptual, poetic or even formal exchanges in a way that appears to be simple, despite the complexity of the visible results of the works presented.

Rodrigo Bueno, Eyewitness, after Harald Schultz, 2013

LONE RANGERS :

CZECH POSTMODERNISM


FEBRUARY | MARCH 2014


Artists:


Stanislav Diviš

Jiří David

Antonín Střížek

Petr Nikl

Jiří Surůvka

Tomáš Císařovský

Petr Písařík

Karel Štědrý


Conceived specially for Frameless Gallery by Richard Drury in collaboration with Galerie 1Patro, Lone Rangers presents the work of 8 Czech artists who have been at the forefront of recent developments in Czech culture.


The key focus is the generation that emerged in the 1980s, a time when the international phenomenon of Postmodernism was radically changing perceptions about the way art is created and interpreted. The search of the young artists to define oneʼs identity and the expression of critical views of societyʼs ritualistic and repressive ʻnormsʼ that characterise the spirit of Postmodernism took on even sharper meaning in the reality of late-Communist Czechoslovakia.


Conjuring the image of a paradoxical posse of solitary figures, the title of the show, Lone Rangers, can be interpreted as a reference to the reflective, occasionally romantic and often self-ironic way these artists have found ways of engaging directly with the society they live in.


This exhibition ties in with the launch of the book Pictures of Czech Postmodernism by Jiří Přibáň, Professor of Law at Cardiff University.

Jiří Suruvka, Uplne cela MM II (Marilyn Monroe) collage series

Nosco | Frameless


SP - Arte


Stand B03

April 03 – 06, 2014

 

Pavilhão Ciccillo Matarazzo

Parque do Ibirapuera, Portão 3

São Paulo, Brazil


Opening Hours:


Wednesday 2, 11am

2pm - 10pm for guests only

Thursday 3 - Saturday 5 : 1pm - 9pm

Sunday 6 : 11am - 7pm

 

Artists:


Lauren Seiden (US)

Tulio Pinto (BR)

Niall McClelland (CA)

Peter Pumpler (D)

Steven Day (US)

Rodrigo Bueno (BR)

Steven Day Untitled wax painting, 28 x 42 cm, 1994

Nosco | Frameless


DE - Pict

GROUP EXHIBITION

JUNE 2014

 

Artists:


Alejandro Ospina

Louise Fishman

Tom Leamon

Nicolas Pol 

Lauren Seiden

Peter Pumpler

Steven Day

Niall McClelland

Alejandro Ospina Harky Diamonds painting on canvas, 120 x 170 cm, 2014

DE-Pict


Louise Fishman (US), Alejandro Ospina (Colombia), Tom Leamon (UK), Nicolas Pol (France), Lauren Seiden (US), Peter Pumpler (Germany), Niall McClelland (Canada), Steven Day (US)


DE-Pict, the launch exhibition of a new partnership between Ciprian Ilie (Frameless Gallery) and Cyril Moumen (Gallery Nosco), explore the elusive image - its relevance, appropriation, adapted narratives and its absence.


Louise Fishman, Alejandro Ospina, Tom Leamon and Nicholas Pol lead the way. 52 canvases of Fishman’s abstract and gestural paintings, is an exhibition in its own right. These paintings, building blocks to larger works, form a palette of impulse and impact. Ospina’s canvases have a sense of immediacy, as if to translate the chaos of an apocalyptic present that we might miss. Leamon’s child-like deconstructed human forms offer a compelling insight into the psyche of man that navigates this social fabric. While, Pol’s exuberant painting on found material, sets you on mission to decipher the looming figure. It seems, at once, revelatory and inconceivable to uncover the mystery.


The exhibition changes pace. Lauren Seiden, Peter Pumpler, Niall McClelland and Steven Day explore materiality of paint as they move away from the image. Seiden and Day play with colour and texture to create contradictory impressions of strength and fragility. Seiden reveals an alchemist’s touch, with intensity and repetition of mark making; she bestows paper with a metallic sheen. Conversely, sculptural blocks by Day create an illusion of fragility. While McClelland and Pumpler allow for an element of chance, playing with paint, allowing it to drip, stick, flood and mould the ‘painting’.  


These idiosyncratic approaches to the medium are enhanced by our culture today. Images, in its abundance, perhaps reveal much, yet meaning less. While some choose to build upon this excess, others pare down the reference. In their method, it is fascinating to observe how the artist responds to the plethora of images we consume; how they morph digital stimuli, to make sense of the cacophony, to be inspired, to draw a personal narrative. The exhibition draws on this diversity.


Between the artists, they depict a pulse, a debate on image, obscurity and how the painter holds ground; leads. Among many things, the result is empirical.

The strength of suggestion above a statement;

Layered, obscured, fragmented;

Hidden within folds and dribbles.

Perhaps, the attempt is to coerce a response. 

Yet, as the gesture gains strength,

The narrator withholds.

                                                                                                                                                                                      Text by Mary George

Nosco | Frameless


ArtRio14

11 - 14 September 2014

 

Pier Mauá

Rua Rodrigues Alves, 10 - Centro

Shuttle Cinelândia - Pier Mauá

Praça Mahatma Gandhi - Centro

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil


Opening times:

11| 09 :1pm to 9pm

12|09: 1pm to 9pm

13|09: 1pm to 9pm

14|09: 1pm to 8pm


Artists:


Lucio Fontana

Alejandro Ospina

Louise Fishman

Lauren Seiden

Steven Day

Niall McClelland

Yara Pina

Alejandro Ospina Dig 5 painting on canvas, 111 x 82 cm, 2014

Following the resounding success of Repentista #1 earlier this year,  we are pleased to present part 2 following the same principles. The artists – just like the Repentista – incorporate tensions and possibilities of the environment where they are, to propose conceptual, poetic or even formal exchanges in a way that appears to be simple, despite the complexity of the works presented. The exhibition is a collaborative effort that aims to develop a platform for showcasing and championing Brazilian contemporary art in the UK.


A known figure in Brazilian popular culture, Repentista is a poet, an artist of words and improvisation. Using the challenge to the other as the starting point of his creations, he appropriates situations, words, gestures of people standing around to engage audience and stand out from the others. In this show, Repentista represents the mastery and technique necessary to perform any activity in order to seem sudden, when in fact there is a very elaborate work behind it.


A fully illustrated catalogue will be published to accompany the exhibition.

Nosco | Frameless


REPENTISTA #2


Emerging Contemporary

Artists from Brazil


EXHIBITION: 1 - 19 OCTOBER


Artists:


Berna Reale

Yara Pina

Rodrigo Sassi

Tulio Pinto

Carla Chaim

Yara Pina Untitled (Sequence) C-type print, stills from performance, 100 x 100cm, 2014

The exhibition For All Intents and Purposes is a visual survey of the relationship between man and material that has run its course. Objects once desired, consumed and since redundant find their way into Jonathan Meyer’s collection of collages, casts and sculptures.

 

Meyer explores the symbiotic yet dysfunctional relationships between different species in nature and the built environment. Many of these encounters are repeated, relived by ritual. He taps into the reliability of habits to expose the relation between man and detritus often with comical outcomes in his collages. They reveal a fantastical ecology that is deceivingly orderly. Meyer further examines this in his casts. Layers of paper and paint obscure the object until it becomes an imprint. The patterns are mapped out akin to a topographic study. As you look closer, you recognize familiar objects of daily use, trophies of a disposable society.

 

For a period, while living in Australia, Meyer turns to debris as nature intended. On his walks to the studio, Meyer observed a symbolic juncture where waste washed in and the land, washed out. Here he collected plant material, seedpods and bones that were once protective shields. Stripped of purpose, they become abstract forms placed on a pedestal.

 

In this diversity of material and technique, Meyer repeatedly goes back to the layers meant to preserve, protect and impress – packaging in nature and of our own making. Remnants of consumption, essential and indulgent, become symbolic. The result is a collection of work that reviews the need to restore. Despite the playful appearance, the works express concerns of survival, to outlive the debris. 

 

Meyer’s art unfolds from a career as an Architect. Traces of a rational practice remains in his taxonomical approach to navigate his collection of found material. Within this structure, the fanaticism shines through as Meyer weeds out memorabilia and residue of excess. Ecstatically for Meyer, his art unlike his buildings, allows room for an uncertain placement, a practice more fluid, intuitive and allegoric.

 

Albeit the emphasis on materiality, Meyer hopes to capture the ephemeral, a transient tactility. What has come to be part of a personal history? What has been fed into our bodies and minds, how does one process this encounter? The intention is not to impose or judge but a search for what remains of this interaction, what remains of this exchange?

 

Within these dimensions, we observe what attracts and repels, what stays and seduces. The work questions the meaning of paths, territory, trajectories and contact. As Meyer attempts to rationalize, he often finds mystery build up and myth take place. The attempt is hopeful yet futile, impossible, and in them we see fragments of a society fossilised. For all intents and purposes. It may be.


A fully illustrated catalogue will be published to accompany the exhibition.                                                               Text by Mary George

FOR

ALL INTENTS

AND

PURPOSES :


JONATHAN MEYER


EXHIBITION: 11 - 23 NOVEMBER

Exhaust cast objects on board, mixed media, 101 x 101 cm, 2014

LOUISE FISHMAN:

VENICE WATERCOLOURS

2011 - 2013



Nosco | Frameless


Text and Curatorial by Suzana Diamond


Organized in collaboration with

Simon Watson


EXHIBITION:

10 DECEMBER 2014 - 5 JANUARY 2015

We are pleased to announce an exhibition of watercolours by New York abstract painter Louise Fishman. This is the artist’s first solo exhibition in the UK, uniting works created during the artist’s residency at the Emily Harvey Foundation in Venice, Italy.


While living in Venice, Fishman plunged into an exhilarating exploration of watercolour as a medium. Profoundly inspired by the ebb and flow of the surroundings, Fishman took thousands of photographs, working vigorously between a stream of open drawings. The residency in Venice marked a dynamic shift in the artist’s creative process, and the fruit of Fishman’s two trips to the city is a phenomenal body of watercolours and sketchbooks from the artist’s private collection, to be shown in London for the very first time this December.


The resulting compositions resonate with the theatricality and drama of an Italian opera, while evoking the lightweight atmosphere of Venice; the luminosity and color of its sky, water and glass. Fishman’s signature formal elements - calligraphy, gesture and grid - find a new light amongst found papers, bleeds, scratches, drips, erasures, fingerprints and other physical interventions. A myriad of influences reveal themselves, from the artist’s life-long admiration of Titian and Tintoretto, to later influences by Giorgione and Veronese.


Born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1939, Fishman’s works are deeply impacted by cultural, political and emotional experiences. Over the past five decades, Fishman has re-invented and expanded approaches to abstract painting, and continues to reframe conventions through various formal and material investigations. In her own words, Fishman is “examining our histories and moving forward, just making the best paintings I can make, that's what I do. That, and being in love.”


One of the last direct descendents from a great lineage of American abstract painters (Franz Kline, Willem De Kooning, Joan Mitchell) Fishman – who first exhibited in 1963, is the subject of two comprehensive retrospectives scheduled for 2016, at the Neuberger Museum of Art in Purchase, New York (April 3rd - July 21st, 2016) and The ICA (Institute of Contemporary Art) at the University of Pennsylvania (April 20 - August 16, 2016).


We would like to thank Simon Watson for his conception of and extensive support in organising this exhibition.


A fully illustrated catalogue will be published to accompany the exhibition.                                                                                     

Untitled, watercolour on paper 9 x 12 1/4 in, 2013

The long arc of trees hanging over the water seemed to drip and glitter with myriads

of prisms, the trunks and branches sheathed by bars of yellow and carmine light that

bled away across the surface of the water, as if the whole scene were being

reproduced by some over-active technicolor process.

J.G. Ballard, The Crystal World, 1966


The exhibition A Crazed Flowering is inspired by the dystopian vision of J.G. Ballard’s The Crystal World in which a crystalline entity overwhelms a jungle environment transforming it into a dazzling, bejewelled mass. The characters of the novel are inexplicably drawn towards its dark and elaborate beauty, journeying further inside the crystalline forest and eventually yielding to its irresistible force. The apocalyptic phenomenon is a prismatic growth, an unstoppable menacing transformation with the capacity to suspend time as well as life.


A shimmering organic overabundance runs through all three of these artists’ work. Flower painting is an anachronistic genre, as far as the main events of the history of art are concerned. These artists grasp this historical model—associated with frivolous aesthetics and notions of decay—and draw out its contemporary relevance. Through their work the floral motif has become elusive and fragmented, associated with ominous visions of degeneration.


Freya Douglas-Morris’ painting hints at a distant paradisiacal terrain. With subtle abstractions and glowing colours, she alludes to alternate worlds in which nature plays a prominent part. With foliage and figures reduced to simple signifiers, these scenes are at once familiar and foreign. Rich allusive environments steeped in suggestion. Both imagination and memory feed into creating these evocative scenes. With her playful spin on time and space, Douglas-Morris blurs the line between memory and myth. Day seeps into night. Spiritual and material worlds intersect.


Nicholas Johnson pushes his botanical subject matter to a frenzied state. Layering abstracted motifs, lettering and found objects he creates a dizzying surface that immerses us in an unknowable forest of signs. There are unsettling hints of a more sinister side in his decorative style. A curious enchanting darkness lures us in. He creates a psychological space that entraps us. Motifs recur as though he cannot shake them off. With his inclusion of deteriorated digital prints, Johnson hints at the psychedelia of digital space and our immersive encounter with technology.


Lucy Whitford seeks out materials for their intrinsic properties, innate qualities and cultural histories. Weaving them together with her poetically conceived internal world to explore the way they resonate with lived experience. Her work hints at the profound subject matter of loss and longing, rooted in an internal narrative and mythology. Raw unfired clay appears to grow from the spaces between beams, cracks and joints of metal—fragile, organic forms tinged with a sense of defiance and dread, both beautiful and grotesque. Materials once familiar perch precariously on structures too exposed to afford safety, unearthing an intuitive exploration of the human experience that draws the viewer cautiously in.

Lucy Whitford, Sit Apart and Set Adrift, steel, burnished unfired earthenware clay and perforated vinyl car headlining fabric, 140 x 100 x 50 cm, 2014

A CRAZED FLOWERING


GROUP EXHIBITION


Artists:


Freya Douglas-Morris

Nicholas Johnson

Lucy Whitford


Text and Curatorial by Kate Neave


EXHIBITION:

8 - 24 JANUARY 2015

IN BETWEEN


Nosco | Frameless


RODRIGO SASSI


EXHIBITION:

3 - 24 FEBRUARY (London)


19 MARCH - 18 APRIL (Paris)

Esquisse du Sacré-Coeur si vous y croyez, plywood, metal and concrete, 160 x 255 x 50cm , 2014/2015

The fruit of a 6-month residency at La Cité Internationale des Arts, Paris, In Between is Rodrigo Sassi’s first European solo exhibition: London 3 – 24 February followed by Paris 19 March – 18 April 2015 in collaboration with MDM Gallery.

The title of the exhibition, In Between alludes in part to Rodrigo’s recent geographical movements (Sao Paulo, London, Paris) and the influences of these places on his work and development as an artist, as well as being a direct reference to the making process of the sculptures, such as using concrete “in between” sheets of plywood, plywood “in between” layers of black paint and so on.

Seen fresh for the first time, there appears to be something incomplete about Rodrigo Sassi's sculptures. However, rather than this being an error or a problem, it is a manifestation of how elements of sculpture can be presented to the contemporary world. Open, splaying, inviting gestural structures, point to a fluid approach to shape, a subtle dialogue with post-minimalism, calligraphy/mark-making and Arte Povera.

There is a sense of something about to appear, but it is either never shown in its entirety, or it evades the finished form in which we are accustomed to seeing sculpture or installation. This is unquestionably a condition of how art perceives and understands a fractured, abject, cruel, and yet also fragile and dynamic, world that is criss-crossed by torrents of information, often lost in translation.

There is a clear nod to Concretism and a subtle reference to Brazil’s deforestation and extensive export of natural resources (plywood and paper in particular) which lead to the loss of 85% of forests in less than 70 years. The resulting works hang in balance and the image of the construction site as reference is most appropriate, as we are presented with nuts and bolts, concrete, ply, paint and other materials of a kind that is familiar in many of our built environments. The materials the artist uses (mainly recycled/found wood, concrete and metal) reinforce this idea. His works have nothing ephemeral about them, and their strong, solid presence reveals opposing forces, disparate syntaxes of friction and affinity, incompleteness and construction.

Louise Fishman Untitled, watercolour on paper, 2013

Nosco | Frameless


SP - Arte

April 08 – 12, 2015

 

Pavilhão Ciccillo Matarazzo

Parque do Ibirapuera, Portão 3

São Paulo, Brazil


Opening Hours:


Wednesday 8, 11am, Preview

2pm - 10pm for guests only

Thursday 9 - Saturday 11 :

1pm - 9pm

Sunday 12 : 11am - 7pm


Artists:


Lauren Seiden (US)

Niall McClelland (CA)

Louise Fishman (US)

Alejandro Ospina (CO)

Rodrigo Sassi (BR)

ART15

MAY 20 – 23, 2015

 

Olympia

Olympia Way, Kensington

London W14 8UX


Opening Hours:


Collectors Preview / First Night

Wednesday 20, 2 - 6pm  / 6 - 9pm

Thursday 21, 11am - 9pm

Friday 22 / Saturday 23,

11am - 7pm



Artists:


Alejandro Ospina (CO)

Rodrigo Sassi (BR)

Lucio Fontana (AR/IT)

Ben Nicholson (UK)

Stanislav Kolibal (CZ)

Yara Pina (BR)

Jonathan Meyer (USA)

Rodrigo Sassi Algal, plywood and concrete, 2013

BREAKFAST IN TEHRAN :


CONTEMPORARY

IRANIAN WOMEN ARTISTS


JUNE 2011


Artists:


Azadeh Akhlaghi

Navid Azimi

Majid Koorang Beheshti

Taha Heydari

Azadeh Madani

Saba Masoumian

Atefeh Samaie

Rozita Sharafjahan

NICK ROBERTS :


L A C U N A


AUGUST | SEPTEMBER 2011

The idea behind this new collection of work is to attempt an understanding of psychical shifts, through objects. Familiar settings and domestic objects are manipulated into a conversion of meaning.

Throughout Nick's work runs this flux between, knowing and recognition, to uncertainty, confusion and break down. His interests in psychoanalytical ideas are confronted through coarse and domestic materials. He endeavours to indicate something of an internal landscape by using external objects.

Through working with carbon paper he suggests something about the way we leave a mark or imitate what has come before. It is at this moment that we hold our breath, to impress or to be impressed. What is outside must leave a mark inside, and so-forth. Lacunar amnesia, in psychology, amnesia about a specific event / Lacuna (manuscripts), a missing section of text / Lacuna (linguistics), a lexical gap in a language.

TOM DE FRESTON:


ON FALLING


SEPTEMBER  |  OCTOBER 2011

TRACE:


GROUP EXHIBITION

MARCH 2012


Artists:


Yusuke Fukuoka

Danielle Gottesman

Catalina Barroso Luque

Panachai Chaijirarat

Pam Liu

Courtney Batson

Jian Wei Lim

Jenni Crain

Charlotte Kaye

Peter Florczyk

Heidi Rada

PROZAC POLITICS :


GROUP EXHIBITION

APRIL 2012

SACRED AND PROFANE


JAKUB ŠPAŇHEL


EXHIBITION:

7 - 25 OCTOBER

Church, acrylic on canvas, 115 x 90 cm , 2013

Coinciding with Frieze London, Frameless Gallery presents Sacred and Profane, the first solo painting exhibition of Czech artist Jakub Špaňhel in the UK. The exhibition focuses on two of the most recurring themes in Špaňhel’s artistic output: architectural interiors of cathedrals and churches, and imposing exteriors of international central banks.


Whereas churches tend to be seen as the religious monuments of the past, built as guardian places of the sacred, banks are monuments of our time, edifices to the might of man, built to power their own monumentality, one that depicts our material possessions driven era. Although fundamentally different in use and their place in out society, both institutions are underpinned by a system of beliefs - for instance, belief in God or belief in the economic markets. One could argue that we are therefore confronted with a new form of the Sacred (and in turn the Profane).


Špaňhel has been working with these themes for a number of years. The interiors of churches start to appear in his work as early as 2003/4 (S.V. Vit, S.V. Barbara) whereas the paintings of banks were partly a response to the financial crisis of 2008/9 (Central Bank of Brazil, Russian Central Bank, FED). Špaňhel paints these iconic buildings in an almost entirely black, grey and brown sombre palette, with paired-down abstracted shapes that rise from the deepest darkness, revealing themselves in monochrome broad brush strokes, gestural mark-making, fading shapes and contours.


This baroque chiaroscuro technique is something that Špaňhel has been interested in for a long time, learning from the old masters - he recently re-interpreted a series of Rembrandt works for the National Gallery in Prague, one of these currently hangs alongside the original. Deeper understanding of the old masters and their painting techniques is what distinguishes Špaňhel paintings and represents the highest manifestation of his elegant expressionism.


The German philosopher Ernest Cassirer, in An Essay on Man, wrote that man is “a strange mixture of being and non-being” and his place is between these opposing poles. Concealed behind the synthesising persuasiveness and stylistic certainty of Špaňhel’s images is actually a more general painting talent that allows him to capture this very special place of man in the world. As a result, a light rose petal in these images can testify not only to the weight of being, but to the even greater weight of non-being. The uniqueness of Jakub Špaňhel’s work lies in the ability to combine these paradoxes and transfer them to the canvas with painting techniques and gestures of actionism without lyrical sentimentality or overly expressive shouting.


Text by Jiri Priban / Ylenia Corsi

THE

BLACK

BUBBLEICIOUS


PAUL DELLER


EXHIBITION:

9 - 28 FEBRUARY 2016

Black Bubbleicious, textile, paper and black tape on paper 29 x 17 cm each , 2015

When I saw ‘The Golden Age of Collage: 1916-1950’ at the Mayor Gallery in the summer of 1987, the collages liberated something in me. Europe in the 20’s and 30’s seemed so experimental, so enticing in every way, I often hankered to have been of that time. Most striking was Hannah Hoch’s ‘Dada/Constructivist Composition’ 1924. Unpretentiously clunky yet elegantly poised, it has a deceptive  sophistication. On occasion, when trying too hard, I tried to emulate it but learned that this was not possible, not for me anyway. It was of another hand and all I could do was to enjoy it.

Collage is my medium. The papers I use are found and they have had lives, imbued by their mottled, faded hues and chaotic detritus of marks. They bring with them their own accounts and they all have an alluring muscle, enticing me. I have to be careful how I work with them. The best consequences are always a compromise; not too much of them, not too much of me and somehow we find an equilibrium.

The ‘Black Bubbleicious’ is my latest game of give and take. I have been searching for these black forms and they are my Aces of Spades. That of a dog-eared deck of cards, all fingered and used, they are all a bit sullied. Whilst Matisse’s ‘Blue Nudes’ 1952  have always been an inspiration, my homage counterpoints their laid back elegance with a seedy sassy-ness, funkier in attitude.

Brassai’s ‘Paris by Night’ images – like ‘Belle de Nuit’ 1932 - were never far from my thoughts. The brassy, shape-full figurines, starkly lit, asymmetric and humbly exotic. Malevich’s ‘Black Cross’ 1923 and his disregard for pictorial conventions was ever present and some of Guston’s self-portraits (‘Head’ 1975) also began to appear as silhouettes.

Out of this fug of acknowledgement, textures, cuts and curves comes a collection of mongrel-like appeal - at times devilish, at times comic – but, hopefully, with a discordant oneness, with a hint of another time and place.


Paul Deller, 2015

Black Bubbleicious, textile, paper and black tape on paper 29 x 17 cm , 2015

THE

FUNDAMENTAL

ELEMENT OF DRAWING


STANISLAV KOLIBAL


curated by Isabela Villanueva


VENUE:

2301 NORTH MIAMI AVENUE

MIAMI, FL 33127  USA


EXHIBITION:

19 NOV 2015 - 28 MARCH 2016

White Relief, No.XXIII, wood, graphite drawing and iron 150 x 108 x 5 cm, 2011

One of the most important Czech artists working today, Stanislav Kolibal is known as one of the pioneers of modern art in his country and is renowned internationally for the simplicity, elegance and refinement of his abstract oeuvre.


Over the past five decades, Stanislav Kolíbal has dealt intensively with questions as to the permanence, stability, and instability of sculptural forms. With a broad-based oeuvre that meanders between the genres of drawing, illustration, sculpture, architecture, stage scenery, and exhibition design, Kolíbal produces works of art that are a meditation on the problems engendered by and linked to man's presence on Earth.


Drawing has always been essential to Kolibal’s practice, and this exhibition will feature a selection of works that use drawing as a procedural foundation for considering the possibilities offered by space. The show will feature two site-specific Murals, alongside an array of works from his White Reliefs and Black and White Hints series.  


Stanislav Kolibal: The Fundamental Element of Drawing curated by Isabela Villanueva is the first exhibition in Miami of this abstract mastermind. The show is organized by Frameless Gallery, London in collaboration with Merzbau Gallery, Miami.


Stanislav Kolíbal was born in 1925 in Orlová, Czech Republic. After the Second World War,  he studied Applied Graphics at the Academy of Arts, Architecture and Design in Prague, followed by Scenography at the Academy of Performing Arts. He has exhibited in numerous museums and important historical exhibitions like Sculptures from Twenty Nations at the Guggenheim Museum in New York (1967), Between Man and Matter: the 10th Tokyo Biennale (1970),  and continues to exhibit at some of the world’s most renowned institutions like  the Centre Georges Pompidou, MoMA, the Czech National Gallery and the Salzburg Museum of Modern Art amongst many others.

Untitled, No.92, watercolours on paper, 16.2 x 16.2 cm, 1994 - 1999

ARTLIMA

20 - 24 APRIL 2016


STANISLAV KOLIBAL

B3, Pioneros Section






Escuela Superior

de Guerra del Ejercito del Perú (ESGE)


Av. Escuela Militar s/n. Bajada

Agua Dulce, Chorrillos, Lima, Perú


Opening Hours:


First Choice / ArtLima VIP

Wednesday 20, 2 - 8pm / 5 - 8pm


Public:

Thursday - Saturday, 2 - 9pm

Sunday, 2 - 8pm

Black and White Hints XIX, wood, stucco, iron and graphite drawing on board, 85 x 58 x 4 cm, 2014

TOM LEAMON : IRREVERENCE



VENUE:

2301 NORTH MIAMI AVENUE

MIAMI, FL 33127  USA


PRIVATE VIEW:  

THURSDAY 31 MARCH

7 - 10PM


EXHIBITION:

31 MARCH - 27 MAY 2016


OPENING HOURS:

MON - FRI 11AM - 5PM

SATURDAYS BY APPOINTMENT

Frameless Gallery, London and Merzbau Gallery, Miami present Irreverence - Tom Leamon’s first solo exhibition in the United States. On offer is a collection of paintings spanning the last 5 years, works which are both thought-provoking and playful. They are experiments into the deconstruction of the human form, on both a physical and psychological level. 

 

Rooted in mark-making, symbolism, poetry / story-telling and illustration, Leamon’s works often combine meticulous detail with raw abstract painterly gestures. The artist uses painting as a release, and in a quasi-monastic fashion, Leamon locks himself in his studio for long periods of time working and reworking the surface of the canvas. With complete freedom and an enduring willingness to explore, his impulsive, almost childlike painting techniques represent both playtime and profound meditation. 

 

Pixelated faceted figures give a nod to Picasso’s Harlequin, crowns, poison bottles and skulls echo Basquiat’s graffiti while works like The Search for The Emerald City and Mixing the Remedy feel almost like Aztec relics, re-imagined frescoes of a bygone era.

 

The exhibition takes the viewer on a compelling journey into the dark depths of the human psyche, it contorts one’s senses and leaves the viewer with an overwhelming thirst to peal back one more layer of paint and discover more

The Search for The Emerald City, acrylic paint and varnish on canvas, 240 x 140 cm, 2013

ALEJANDRO OSPINA


COSMOSCOW :

SOLO PRESENTATION


8 -11 SEPTEMBER

Alejandro Ospina’s most recent body of work meshes together imagery of the airstrikes in war-torn Syria, with unfinished, re-interpreted works of his favourite painter Arshile Gorky, borrowed fragments of Juan Miro and backgrounds of cityscapes and town planners drawings to create a new type of landscape.


This combination of subjects and sources produces a poetry of complex layers which mimic the digital world within an analogue setting and medium. A burst of colours, patterns and shapes, both familiar and strange, bombard the viewer all at once. Alejandro is a master of architectural perspective and colour mixing, almost providing stepping stones within the paintings to act as reference points for the viewers eye when “travelling” through the painting.


Ospina’s work will be on show in Russia for the very first time.

Airstrikes - The Humble Bragger, mixed media on canvas, 168 x 265 cm, 2016

TOM LEAMON : ROPE MAKER



PRIVATE VIEW:  

TUESDAY 27 SEPTEMBER

6 - 9PM


EXHIBITION:

SEPTEMBER - OCTOBER 2016

Tom Leamon confesses he likes rope. According to the artist, Rope Maker as an exhibition title is a direct analogy to rope and life. Both can be long, short, used to do harm, to help, to bind. In Leamon’s own words, rope is woven together from tiny strands, which together give it its strength, but rope can also break. It is something tangible and carries the weight of history.


Following Leamon’s first solo exhibition in the United States earlier this year we are delighted to welcome him back to Frameless, London. On show is a collection of new works created over the past two years at the Beekeeper’s Artist Residence which the artist runs in Algarve, Portugal.


The product of a dramatic and sudden change in the artist’s life – the exodus from central London to an olive grove in rural Portugal – these paintings bear witness to Leamon facing his own demons and fears, questioning how he lived and where, and searching for his true identity both as a painter and as a human. The result is a collection of works that demonstrate a new depth and sense of direction; mature, confident and carefully considered.


Arguably we are witnessing the beginning of Leamon’s Portugal Period. Leamon’s painterly language, despite being deeply rooted in history, literature, the occult, symbolism and mark-making is decidedly abstract, yet a lot of it has been painted outdoors in nature, in the beautifully peaceful olive grove that surrounds his studio.


These works stand as testament to the idea of jumping into an unknown and asking questions of himself. Layers of paint cover layers of stories, time taken and questions asked. The works are honest and brutal reflecting the natural environment in which they were created. They may hide frustration, angst and hours of sweat, blood and turmoil but ultimately they are a celebration of finding a stronger bond with the self and the natural environment through constant re-examination.


A lover of poetry and wordplay Leamon describes his work processes: I would often lock myself away for days, in a vocal and physical mantra, in order for me to get into a zone to create. Mixing a passion for science, nature, and mathematics into a pot, drinking it and pissing it onto a canvas. Moments of conscious brushstroke followed by explosive acts which rely on natures outcome, drip marks, eyes open, eyes closed, dancing, screaming, shouting, sitting, watching, sleeping and repeating the process…

BOHUMÍR  MATAL (1922 - 1988)



Painting: 40’s - 80’s


PRIVATE VIEW:  

MONDAY 31 OCTOBER, 7PM


EXHIBITION:

OCTOBER - NOVEMBER 2016

Shortly after graduating from Brno School of Arts and Crafts in 1941, Bohumír Matal was arrested for ‘antifascist activities’ and sent to Germany as a part of the Nazi forced labour program. From the concentration camp, he would send his family letters containing surrealist drawings in black and white, often reflecting on his feelings and situation in the camp. More than 200 letters and illustrations survive.


Post WWII the reaction to the war years was still very raw and Matal focused his attention on the poetry of the city, the periphery, the relation of man with the contemporary world. He became a member of Skupina 42 (Group 42), whose artistic influences were close to his. Man in the City and City in Man was one of the pivotal themes of this period. The main characteristics of Matal‘s works in the late 1940s were compositions inspired by cubism, the fusion of the constructed human figure with the tectonics of urban architecture and machines as symbols of modern civilization.


The motifs of interior architecture and self-portraits of the 1950s carry an existentialist message, while the "Cyclists" series shows a significant divergence from visually perceived reality, geometric stylization and cadences of colour and line. These features are present in the artist‘s subsequent works, bringing him systematically to the limits of non-figurative painting.


In the early 1970s, Bohumír Matal left Brno and spent the rest of his life in a mill at Prudká, near Doubravník. The negative reception his work received in the 50s and 60’s from the official critics, and the lack of recognition followed him constantly, nourished by the contemporary political atmosphere in Czechoslovakia at the time. However, his withdrawal to the sidelines did not mean complete isolation. He painted the cycles Bird Actors and Monuments, dynamic compositions of diagonals and curves, a galore of shapes, paraphrasing the political atmosphere and the false pathos of the time. In the early 1980s the painter’s feelings of inner resignation and hopelessness start to manifested in the work more prominently through a more and more restrained colour palette, to the extent that in the last two years of his life Bohumír Matal stopped painting altogether. A few late drawings survive - he passed away in the summer of 1988.

Knight, oil on canvas, 172 x 88 cm, 1977

S P E C T R A L S  :

PAUL DELLER


EXHIBITION:

20 MARCH -  18 APRIL 2017

Spectral XVI, mixed papers on linen, wood, glass and frame 33 x 40 cm, 2016

Most artists, while experimenting with a variety of practices and media throughout their career, tend to have a go-to, favourite discipline that they return to, a safety blanket perhaps. The same is true of Paul Deller.

 

Although during his time at St. Martin’s and throughout the YBA years he experimented with large canvases, masking tape, footballs, hair, metal sheets, blackboards, burnt and found objects, his favourite medium has always been collage. First embraced by Pablo Picasso and Georges Braque at the beginning of the 20th century, the collage (from the French: coller, "to glue") is a technique of art production, primarily used in the visual arts, where the artwork is made from an assemblage of different forms, thus creating a new whole.

 

Deller speaks very fondly of some of his early collage works, which were best sellers at the time - some of which in retrospect he wishes to have kept - and he always wanted to make more of them. With that in mind, over the last 20 years he has been assembling a “body” of materials, his criteria being very simple: texture, age, shape and colour.

 

Following on from The Black Bubbleicious exhibition which showcased over 80 monochrome paper collages made from black book binding covers and claimed as inspiration sources as varied as Brassaï, Kazimir Malevich, Henri Matisse, Philip Guston, totem poles and tribal African fertility carvings, Spectrals is a much more paired down body of work, doing away completely with suggestiveness of form or its absence and focusing solely on colour as evident in the title.

 

In typical diligent and completely thought through academic Paul Deller fashion, everything is “found” and “made” for this body of work: the frames - which are all individually sourced by the artist - become a part of the work and along with the raw linen canvas backing, claim back the work’s “authenticity” by placing it within a British Modern art historical context of the 1950’s and 60’s as opposed to 2015/16, the years when the works were assembled.  Despite these works being encased in glass, in the words of fellow artist Robert Kelly: just by looking one can almost smell the tobacco, patina-ed dampness, and cobwebbed finery in the colored spines of old book covers and forgotten pages.

 

Josef Albers and his Homage to the Square series is probably the clearest art historical reference point for Spectrals but to reduce the poetics of this body of collages to just that would be too basic. Paul Deller’s collages hide an assemblage of coloured paper, wrapping, book binding, Dulux and Pantone extinct colours and non-colours, some as vivid as the day they were produced (due to the books being closed all this time), some “tampered with” by decades of natural light and the resulting chemical reaction, therefore to attempt to paint these as mixed colours from scratch (ala Albers) would somehow take away from their soul.

 

Visiting the artist’s studio, standing there looking at the works and discussing their roots with Paul, one cannot help feel a sense of a bygone age of modernity, constructivism and heritage, pertaining to the geometric abstraction school of Central Europe despite the artists youth and realization that these are new works made in the last couple of years. 

Paul Deller Spectrals installation view

Spectral XI, mixed papers on linen, wood, glass and frame 38.5 x 49.5 cm, 2016