“The cities I imagine through drawing exist neither in the past or the future. They are not solutions to urban problems but a pen and paper utopia where the excess of the city pushes against mathematics of nature.” - Alex Evans
For millennia, we have been in awe of the fundamental laws of nature, seeking out patterns and symmetries from microscopic particles to the greater universe. Geometry and symmetry appear to govern the world around us with an underlying mathematical order resulting in the formation of simple and complex shapes and patterns. There is a long aesthetic tradition of nature inspiring and being represented in human civilisation, the ancient Greeks studied natural forms abstracting them as simple geometrical shapes in which to construct their temples and shrines. In the mid 1800’s Joseph Paxton’s design for the Victorian mega-structure ‘The Crystal Palace’ originated from the vein structures of the giant lily pad ‘Victoria Amazonica’ and was constructed from a pioneering modular steel structure. A century later the architect Buckminster- Fuller’s radical futuristic geodesic domes were derived from honeycomb with interlocking triangular pieces. Modular in construction the flexible frames could be replicated and built quickly; enlarged or reduced in scale to suit countless prerequisites.
It is from researching these realised and theoretical propositions in architecture, urban planning and biosciences that the artist ALEX EVANS has created an evolving series of obsessively hand-drawn original works and prints composed of geometric shapes and complex patterns where the shapes appear to replicate themselves and sometimes go on to transform in scale. His complex mathematical drawings depict imagined cities like hybrid architectural forms and delicate emergent bio-organisms.
In Evans’ original large scale drawing ‘Cracks / Shadows’ we see layered observations of hexagonal paving slabs found on the sidewalks of New York City. The moss found growing in-between their cracks at the same time interrupt and create new geometric patterns of urban detail. ‘Cracks / Shadows’ suggest Evans’ imagined cities appearing and disappearing in patterns of emergent growth, like tangled shadows obscuring otherwise rigid geometrical patterns and systems. The notions of mathematical traditions have been subverted, playfully taken apart and re-made as complex examinations of municipal space and scale.
‘Mourning Palmyra’ a series of intricately drawn circular forms which adopts the pattern of the ‘Flower of Life’ as a leading compositional principle. This ancient expression of geometric beauty and mathematics presents a series of interlocking circles which Evans has rendered in pen and graphite with which he has created spaces, layers and dimensions through his repeated acts of drawing and erasure. The minuscule drawn marks resemble cuneiform - a system of writing first developed by the ancient Sumerians of Mesopotamia, now in danger of eradication owing to current conflicts in the region. Evans’ depicts these languages of architecture, geometry and nature as both growing and being destroyed; in a state of unsettling flux and transformation.
Within (IN)VISIBLE SYSTEMS Alex Evans seeks to explore the constant need for cultures to assemble and reassemble the built environment around us. Through a playful examination of scale, pattern and narrative he creates systems of drawings only to then disrupt, erase and take them apart in a constant dialogue between organic and formal structures.
NO PROMISED LAND
NOVEMBER – 26 JANUARY 2017
DYSTOPIA. MELANCHOLY. NOSTALGIA. IDEALISM.
‘No Promised Land’ at The Foundry Gallery in London showcases a new series of paintings focusing on the architecture of idealism. These highly complex and detailed paintings originate from found photographic images of modernist houses falling into disrepair and the makeshift homes of hippie communities. While these two styles of architecture seem to lie at the furthermost points from each other, both implied that utopian idylls could be fabricated through architecture. Each of Saye’s paintings is a different version of these fading idylls, a lament for the utopian ideals of either living through Modernist values - buildings as machines for living - or in hippie communes, living off the land - simply off-grid.
Saye works intuitively, continually editing and revising his paintings, where structures and architecture appear simultaneously familiar and strange, rendered uncanny by an unnatural light from a source you cannot see, glowing beneath layers of under-painting. Ethereal figures become lost in deep shadow and details are seemingly erased - literally sanded out from the paintings, becoming fragments of fictions and memories. Saye builds up his paintings slowly on a smooth, absorbent gesso ground adding layers of thin, transparent glazes and impasto painting, drawing your attention to the surface of the painting where he allows his densely rendered images to dissolve into intricate patterns and abstraction, his colour palette references the faded colours of aged photographs and postcards fragments of Arcadian memories
Through the process of painting new narratives are constructed where any straightforward interpretation is undermined, diminished by the actual fragmentation of the initial imagery. These atmospheric paintings are quiet. Contemplative reflections full of nostalgia for an optimism that didn’t quite materialise.
ABOUT ED SAYE:
Ed Saye (b.1977) lives and works in London. He studied for his MFA at the Slade School of Art University College of London. He has exhibited throughout the UK and London including Museum 52, Rod Barton, APT Gallery, Blythe Gallery, Geddes Gallery and most recently at Pushkin House the home of Russian culture in 'Runaway Fingers' a group exhibition curated by Anya Charikov-Mickelburgh.
Designer of Dreams
Oil on panel 65 x 49.5cm 2016
Oil and acrylic on canvas over panel 122 x 92cm 2016
Oil and canvas over panel
91.5 x 66cm
Study for Children of the Century
Oil on Card
76 x 49 cm
Wie Baut Amerika
Oil and acrylic on canvas over panel
150.5 x 120.5cm
Oil on panel
120 x 180cm
Study for Night House
Oil on paper
56 x 76cm
Untitled (Dome Home)
Watercolour on paper
24 x 25.5cm
Untitled (Drop City)
Watercolour on paper
40 X 29.5cm
BÉTON BRUT SEPTEMBER - 27 OCTOBER 2016
"ANY PIECE OF ARCHITECTURE WORTH BEING CALLED ARCHITECTURE IS USUALLY BOTH HATED AND LOVED" RODNEY GORDON – ARCHITECT ‘THE TRICORN’, PORTSMOUTH UK.
What do you think of when you hear the architectural term ‘Brutalism’? Love these concrete monolithic buildings or hate them the artist and photographer Simon Phipps is ready to challenge all your preconceptions of the Brutalist building in his solo exhibition in London: BÉTON BRUT. Simon Phipps has spent the last 15 years photographing and documenting Brutalist and buildings in the UK, creating a survey of photographic images that demonstrate the breadth of this contentious architectural style.
BÉTON BRUT showcases a new series of architectural photographs screen printed in monochrome onto brushed aluminium. Phipps' careful selection of materials for his work captures one of the properties of Brutalism, ‘its not concerned with the material, but the quality of the material, what can that material do?’ The use of a halftone screen and the aluminium moves the photograph away from the representational; it becomes more sculptural within the enhanced materiality of surface and ink. His photography plays with the viewer’s perspective of the buildings; he has an innovative way of looking at these dynamic constructions finding interesting new vistas and perspectives to capture our imagination.
A selection of Phipps extensive photographic inventory is also displayed in BÉTON BRUT where the curatorial arrangements highlight typological similarities and differences, revealing an analysis of form and structure. Using the placement of colour to highlight architectural details; stemming from Le Corbusier’s Polychromie Architectural, Phipps has used colour from the buildings he has resolutely documented and faithfully used these colours as an integral part of the exhibition in The Foundry Gallery. BÉTON BRUT is curated by Elizabeth Goode.
ABOUT SIMON PHIPPS
Simon Phipps is a London based artist whose work focuses on Modernist and Brutalist architecture. Phipps is the photographer for "THE BRUTALIST LONDON MAP" published by Blue Crow Media and supported by The Twentieth Century Society. His book "BRUTAL LONDON" a photographic survey of Brutalist architecture in inner city London, published by September Books will be released in November 2016. Phipps is also working with Darren Umney on a project about Netherfield, " BETWEEN THE RATIONAL AND THE NATIONAL: NETHERFIELD IN THE NEW SUBURBAN LANDSCAPE" will be shown at the Architectural Association and the Milton Keynes Gallery in 2017.
LOOKING IN, LOOKING OUT JANUARY - 27 FEBRUARY 2016
Bridging the divide between motherhood and the art-world has proved to be a catalyst for an exciting new body of work. Partly auto-biographical, acclaimed artist Katherine Jones has taken the archetypal children’s playground and the objects and things a child uses on a daily basis and has employed these as a starting point for the works in “LOOKING IN, LOOKING OUT.”
The fascination of the familiar objects of childhood playgrounds; roundabouts, climbing frames, and the apparatus which form secure considered places for children’s play have become Katherine's means of expression for describing her personal experiences of witnessing her own children’s development as they begin. Play is one of the most basic instincts that we are born with, and by playing together we begin to learn about the world around us. In countries around the world, architects are becoming increasingly innovative to create environments where children can explore their imaginations through play, develop their social skills, a sense of self, and creativitiy.
Starting from drawings, watercolours and maqueetes, the final prints evolve through the lengthy proofing process. Working intuitively and with a flexibility to her approach Katherine’s prints are built up through the collographic process.
ABOUT KATHERINE JONES
Katherine Jones is a fine art printmaker and painter. She was brought up in Herefordshire studied printmaking in both Cambridge School of Art and Camberwell College of Art. She has worked within the field of fine art printmaking for several years and now concentrates solely on her own practice, living and working in South London. By combining traditional forms of intaglio and relief print (etching, collagraph and block-print) she produces her distinctive images.
Katherine is the current artist in residence at Eton College, Windsor and is the recipient of numerous awards. Most recently the ‘London Original Print Fair Prize’ at the RA Summer Exhibition, 2014 and ‘The Printmaking Today Prize’ at the Royal Society of Painter Printmakers, 2014.
Her work is held at the V&A Prints and Drawings Collection and The V&A National Art Library, London. The University College London Hospitals Art Collection, The House of Lords, Government Art Collection, The Yale University Library - Conneticut, USA. Boston Athenaeum, Massachusets, USA. Her work has recently been aquired by the Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY, USA.
WE ALSO DESERVE TO LIVE JULY - 12 SEPTEMBER 2015
Minho Kwon is a storyteller and an image-maker. His densely, multifaceted drawings command your attention. Kwon's specialness as an artist is the ability to fuse industrialised South Korea with Korean culture and it's political economic history through the expressive power of drawing. The result is potent, brooding and dream-like; dark blueprints for a dystopic past.
His colossal drawings at first seem to be incomplete; architectonic lines have been drawn and rendered with an obsessive attentiveness to detail, demonstrating a comprehensive understanding of his materials layers of pencil, graphite and charcoal.
WE ALSO DESERVE TO LIVE has transformed The Foundry Gallery into a test-bed for Kwon's vast architectural creations. Views that cannot be found in one drawing can be found in another, There is no one way to look at the works or a linear path to follow the visual gaps you find allow you the space to construct your own story.
Blind Spot is a room sized site specific installation which continues George Charman’s fascination with grid forms, pattern and geometry. Silver and black chain screens hang from the gallery’s ceiling in a quincunx grid formation creating a three-dimensional sculptural pattern where the curtains form smaller intimate spaces. Interspersed throughout are drawings that explore the quincunx transformed into two dimensions.
Blind Spot challenges not only how we perceive space by creating temporary sub-divisions, but also the physicality and solidness of an object. At first glance the chain screens hanging in grid formation appear as solid planes of black and silver through the gallery window. Walking around the installation you quickly realise what you first thought was a solid object is in fact permeable. The room sized installation is in fact permeable. The room size three-dimensional pattern turns out to be fluid and changeable.
Blind Spot only survives for the period of this exhibition. The installation and drawings were re-hung weekly each time creating dynamic new spaces.
Emma Alcock is a London based artist. She has predominately exhibited in London in solo and group shows and her work in is private collections all over the world. At first glance Emma’s paintings may appear simple, but quiet contemplation brings to the surface a wealth of meaning and suggestion
“Emma Alcock paints as an aid to contemplation. All paintings are journeys into stillness, in the sense that they are the creation of still images. Stillness, for Alcock, is quietness, the quietness that enables feelings and thoughts to emerge that are normally brushed aside in our rush-through lives. She clings on to sights familiar to her – flowers in a vase, reflections of trees, sets of steps – as if her life depended on them, and in a real way, it does, because in these she finds meaning, elusive yet memorable. She uses paint to trap feelings without throttling them, by means of a gentle but firm touch. - Julian Spalding, Art Critic and Former Museum Director
Eleanor Watson is a London based painter who has exhibited previously at The Foundry Gallery. Watson paints empty spaces; allowing for the room and its contents to set a scene for stories. The objects described in varying detail are given a similar weight to props on an empty stage. What is immediately familiar and recognisable is undermined by the flattened rendering of the objects and the incongruous use of colour.
The paintings retain a likeness to the printed image; particularly in the way in which negative spaces are layered in order to describe the objects. The original images aren’t hers and it’s important that she doesn’t know the spaces and has never been there. This allows her the freedom to re-create and rebuild; excluding and including details as the painting progresses. Watson encourages a literary feeling of description. Clues as to whose story is being told are everywhere, although most questions are left unanswered.
“Artist Eleanor Watson has never been to the places she paints. She has never sat in that chair, doesn’t know the exact distance between the table leg and the edge of the room, and to her it isn’t important. Her works, although suggestive of well-known or homely spaces, are distanced and contemplated objectively, resulting in print-like canvases of unnerving familiarity.
- The Found Image & Painting Spaces, Francolin Press, 2013
Emma Alcock - Light & Dark, Oil on Linen
Emma Alcock - Silhouette of Flower Jug, Oil on Linen
In from no fixed point Benjamin Jenner has captured through drawing, painting and sculpture the passing of time, creating an impression of strangely wrought time-pieces. Jenner’s complex drawings and powerful sculptures exhibit the persistence of ideas evolving through repetition and recreation, constantly shifting and turning under fundamental mathematical processes.
On first glance Jenner’s work appears architectural, representations of real structures, but slowly they reveal themselves as perhaps pure crystalline forms. They are both the microscopic and the colossal, but here rendered on to a barren, empty landscape. These tensions in Jenner's works of shifting time, changes in scale and sense of movement creates a strong pulse and a compelling sense of oddness.
Presenting Jenner’s first solo London show The Foundry Gallery has brought together in a single space his drawings, paintings and sculptures. Opening up this colourful and otherwordly scene skilfully brought together by Benjamin Jenner’s enquiring and persistent imagination. from no fixed point is an artist’s exploration into the representation and recording of time captured through three dimensional forms.
URBAN VISTAS : ILLUSIONS OF NATURE 7 February - 27 March 2014
As so many of us live in metropolitan and suburban environments, separated from nature and surrounded by man-made edifices, how does society redress the balance? Trees tell us of the seasons, bring us into contact with nature and define and frame the urban landscape by creating a sense of place and identity.
Through documenting the humble urban tree planted in groves, copses or alone, well kept or disregarded the photographer Minna Kantonen explores the hyper-real portrayal of nature in the cityscape. Her poignant, captivating series of works URBAN VISTAS prompts the question are these trees just an illusion of nature?
Minna Kantonen is a Finnish Artist living and working in London. Kantonen graduated from MA(RCA) Fine Art Photography from The Royal College of Art (2002) and she is currently a Principal Lecturer in Photography at the University of East London.
Kantonen’s previous exhibitions include, Photobook, Brighton Photo Biennial (2012) and The Jolly (Good) Show, Collyer Bristow Gallery, London (2010). Her work has been selected by the Government Art Collection to exhibit at the offices of the Department of Culture, Media and Sport, she has also received the Arts Council of South West Finland Grant (2005) for production and publication of ‘A Small Book of Trees.’ Her work has also been featured in publications including Source, and Photographie.
During March 2014 Kantonen will be co-curating and taking part in ‘On Landscape # 1’ at Guest Project, London, UK.
Eleanor Watson’s exhibition IN THE FIRST PLACE at The Foundry Gallery is her first solo exhibition of paintings, which will explore ideas surrounding travel and home. The work tells disjointed stories with the understanding that the further and wider you travel the more you understand the shores left behind; returning home with borrowed culture and history. But the paradox here is that all the images are pilfered from the Internet or glossy magazines, so perhaps the artist is none the wiser.
Biography – Eleanor Watson (b.1990) lives and works in London. She attained her BA (Hons) in Fine Art Painting from Wimbledon College of Art (2012) She has been awarded with the following prizes - Futuremap Prize - runner-up (2013) Jonathan Vickers Award-runner up (2012) Hans Brinker Budget Trophy Award-winner (2011) and the Prunella Clough Painting Prize-runner-up (2011)
Eleanor has recently exhibited her work at The South Bank Centre (2013) The Mall Galleries (2013) New Contemporary South (2013) The Albemarle Gallery (2013) and The Affordable Art Fair (2013, 2014) amongst others. She has also taken part in a residency at the Down Stairs Gallery in Madley, Herefordshire (2013)
Oil on Canvas
Oil on Canvas
Oil on Canvas
Oil on canvas
Oil on Canvas
Oil on Canvas
Oil on canvas
Oil on Canvas
Oil on Canvas
Oil on Canvas
Oil on Canvas
Oil on Canvas
SEAMLESS SERIES OF EQUIPMENT 6 June - 18 July 2013
Zoe Schoenherr's exhibition at The Foundry Gallery will reflect upon how her body relates to equipment in gymnastics, and investigate how the materiality and structure of our surrounding architecture implies and choreographs movement. The exhibition will depict a selected transitional space, familiar to her and refer to the notion of buildings functioning as a seamless series of equipment that we interact with on a repetitive basis - a repetition that dismantles our conscious movement and relationship to our surroundings to reveal our authentic relationship to place.
Biography – Zoe Schoenherr (b. 1983) lives and works in London. She attained her MFA Fine Art from The Slade (2012) after being awarded an AHRC scholarship and graduated with a 1:1 for Fine Art from Wimbledon Art School (2006). Public art commissions include Createkx, London, (2010); Kensington and Chelsea Council, London, (2009); Building Schools for the Future/shortlisted, (2008).
Schoenherr has exhibited her work at Atkinson Gallery (2012), Barbican Arts Group Trust (solo 2012), The Lodge (2012) and Scottish Sculpture Workshop (2008 solo) among others. She has also taken part in residencies including 18th Street, LA (2012), Ricklundgarden, Sweden (2010) and Scottish Sculpture Workshop (2008).
Visible City, is an exhibition inspired by the living, breathing city we inhabit. Ever expanding and contracting, scars in the fabric capture memories and traces of movement. The play of architectural form, growth, movement and memory is revealed through charcoal drawings and sculptural forms within the gallery space. Through material correspondence and composition, the artwork engages in reciprocity between drawn and sculptural form. The relationship between the sculptures and drawing is intertwined into a play of sculptural mark making with charcoal. The composition of sculptures to drawings within the gallery space, sit together as marks made upon and within the space.
Biography - Katie Aggett’s recent exhibitions include: “Jerwood Drawing Prize” London, 2012. “World Event Young Artists (UKYA)” Nottingham, 2012. “Katie Aggett” Barbican Arts Trust, London, 2012. “Works on Paper” The Lodge UCL, London, 2012. “Vincula” Strang Print Room, London, 2012. “Roberts Building Stairwell” (Permanent Display), London.
Unfurled is an exhibition concerning the physical transformation of an object and the various configurations it passes through a print on paper is only the beginning. Forms progress, shapes emerge, patterns change and structures mutate passes through.
The work liberates material allowing it to be printed, embossed, folded, ripped, rolled, crushed, clasped. The display becomes paramount, as the work appears to be still in motion. Where does one form finish and the next start?
Bax’s recent exhibitions include Claire Baily, Olivia Bax, Sarah Dornner (Part 3 of 3 projects by IFF for U8 Projects) Komaki, Japan; Connection Point, The Nunnery Gallery, London and a solo show in 2011 at MoorHouse, London, Structural Shift.
Bax was recently selected to take part in the Triangle Workshop in Brooklyn, New York, in September this year. She currently works as a studio assistant for the late Sir Anthony Caro.
Private Lives documents a series of encounters with women from New York's thriving burlesque scene. Dressed as creatures of their own imagination against the canvas of everyday existence, these portraits expose a moment of convergence between the trajectories of each girls life. The veneer between public and private is broken to reveal something unexpectedly honest beneath.
Sarah's work explores the human drive in relation to the individual’s temporal and spatial environment; with a particular interest in the creation of narrative or fiction to engage with social attitudes and environmental issues. Her preferred approach involves creating staged images in collaboration with each subject. A process that involves infiltrating the narrative of a strangers life, sharing an idea, which is then relayed into an image.