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Bani Abidi: ‘What you see in my films is what I know’ Ocula Conversation Bani Abidi: ‘What you see in my films is what I know’

A group of voices accompanies me in the exhibition. They are singing words I cannot comprehend, yet the warm tunes are familiar: folk songs, love songs, songs of longing. There are letters, too. They speak of the quotidian details of a soldier's life: the hardness of the war, sending money to the family, and longing for familiar landscapes, food,...

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Aichi to Okayama: Art in Japan Looks to the Future Ocula Report Aichi to Okayama: Art in Japan Looks to the Future 11 Oct 2019 : Stephanie Bailey for Ocula

There has been a flurry of triennial and biennial art activity in Japan this year. The Aichi Triennale opened in Nagoya this August, sparking a national debate about the shutting down of a display of formerly censored works—the result of public backlash against a burnt image of Emperor Hirohito and a statue commemorating the women forced into...

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Hans Hartung and Art Informel: Exhibition Walkthrough Ocula Insight | Video
Sponsored Content | Mazzoleni Gallery
Hans Hartung and Art Informel: Exhibition Walkthrough 15 October 2019

Hans Hartung and Art Informel at Mazzoleni London (1 October 2019-18 January 2020) presents key works by the French-German painter while highlighting his connection with artists active in Paris during the 50s and 60s. In this video, writer and historian Alan Montgomery discusses Hartung's practice and its legacy.Born in Leipzig in 1904, Hans...

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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

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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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