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‘An Opera for Animals’ at Rockbund Art Museum Ocula Report ‘An Opera for Animals’ at Rockbund Art Museum 19 Jul 2019 : Penny Liu for Ocula

An Opera for Animals was first staged at Para Site in Hong Kong between 23 March and 2 June 2019, with works by over 48 artists and collectives that use opera as a metaphor for modes of contemporary, cross-disciplinary art-making. The exhibition's second iteration takes up a large portion of the Rockbund Art Museum (RAM) in Shanghai (22 June–25...

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Mandy El-Sayegh: Productive Ambiguity Ocula Conversation Mandy El-Sayegh: Productive Ambiguity

Moving across installation, painting, drawing, and writing, Malaysia-born and London-based artist Mandy El-Sayegh explores the political, social, and economic complexities of humanity, using a mosaic of information—from advertising slogans and pornographic imagery to newspaper articles—that she subjects to processes of layering,...

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Get Up, Stand Up Now: Generations of Black Creative Pioneers at Somerset House Ocula Report Get Up, Stand Up Now: Generations of Black Creative Pioneers at Somerset House 5 Jul 2019 : Jareh Das for Ocula

Get Up Stand Up Now: Generations of Black Creative Pioneers at Somerset House in London (12 June–15 September 2019) surveys more than half a century of black creativity in Britain and beyond across the fields of art, film, photography, music, design, fashion, and literature.Curated by Zak Ové, works by approximately 100 intergenerational black...

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Johnny Abrahams

b. 1979, USA

Abrahams’ new works mark a departure from his earlier kinetic line and pattern paintings, whose optical focus conjured moiré patterns and other visual effects. With the new oil-on-canvas abstractions, characterized by large geometric forms painted in bold colour on raw canvas, Abrahams creates visually harmonious, meditative paintings. The sharp compositions—in black, or blue—focus on structure, rhythm, gravity, and negative space.

Abrahams differs from other hard-edge abstractors in that the work expresses both rhyme and meter, through repetitions and subtle interactions between the painted forms. Spreading the oil paint across the painting with a giant palette knife, subtle and arbitrary ridges appear upon Abrahams’ surfaces which at first appear to be smooth and flat. This process results in an accidental language of movement and depth within the clean, pure abstractions. These sizable yet balanced monochromes possess a remarkable quietude from their perfect edges and brushless application.

Progressing out of the optic, detailed line work found in his earlier paintings into a more formalist or minimal language, drama is expressed not through pattern but is instead conveyed in the subtle interactions of the seemingly massive forms and the very delicate points of contact between these brutal objects resting on the canvas. Many of the compositions derive from the forms suggested by his detailed line paintings of the past few years, zoomed in close. Rather than abandon the line work entirely, the shapes and compositions in these new works are arrived at by magnifying tiny portions of an earlier line based painting. When the lines and their interactions are scaled up and augmented into a large scale composition they then read as sculptural forms.

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Featured Artworks

View All (23)
Untitled 13 by Johnny Abrahams contemporary artwork
Johnny AbrahamsUntitled 13, 2019 Oil and acrylic on canvas
76.2 x 61 cm
CHOI&LAGER Gallery
Untitled 12 by Johnny Abrahams contemporary artwork
Johnny AbrahamsUntitled 12, 2019 Oil and acrylic on canvas
76.2 x 61 cm
CHOI&LAGER Gallery
Untitled 11 by Johnny Abrahams contemporary artwork
Johnny AbrahamsUntitled 11, 2019 Oil and acrylic on canvas
76.2 x 61 cm
CHOI&LAGER Gallery
Untitled 10 by Johnny Abrahams contemporary artwork
Johnny AbrahamsUntitled 10, 2019 Acrylic on canvas
40.6 x 30.5 cm
CHOI&LAGER Gallery
Untitled 9 by Johnny Abrahams contemporary artwork
Johnny AbrahamsUntitled 9, 2019 Acrylic on canvas
40.6 x 30.5 cm
CHOI&LAGER Gallery
Untitled 8 by Johnny Abrahams contemporary artwork
Johnny AbrahamsUntitled 8, 2019 Acrylic on canvas
40.6 x 30.5 cm
CHOI&LAGER Gallery
Untitled 7 by Johnny Abrahams contemporary artwork
Johnny AbrahamsUntitled 7, 2019 Acrylic on canvas
40.6 x 30.5 cm
CHOI&LAGER Gallery
Untitled 6 by Johnny Abrahams contemporary artwork
Johnny AbrahamsUntitled 6, 2019 Acrylic on canvas
40.6 x 30.5 cm
CHOI&LAGER Gallery

Recent Exhibitions

Contemporary art exhibition, Johnny Abrahams, 10 Paintings at CHOI&LAGER Gallery, Seoul
Closed
6–28 October 2018 Johnny Abrahams 10 Paintings CHOI&LAGER Gallery, Seoul

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