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Culture

Painting East London black and white

 Date:23/03/2007 - 15/04/2007
 Type:Culture, Contemporary Art
 Location:England, London

‘Black & White’, a group exhibition in East London featuring 12 young international artists, includes a drawing by Norwegian painter Håvard Homstvedt.

Based upon interpretations of the title ‘Black & White’, the exhibition brings together work by artists who display a nostalgia for certain formal qualities: from early photography, through to the echoes of Malevich, 1960s conceptualism and text-based art. As well as drawing upon visual devices the exhibition also explores ideas of Black & White as a model of contemporary thought. Here, “thinking in black and white” refers to a categorical and uncompromising way of engaging with life.

The dark, seductive paintings of Håvard Homstvedt (Norway) take inspiration from Dada collage as much as his fascination for paint, texture and pattern. In ‘Black & White’ Homstvedt will show a drawing based on a card player, Fold.

Becky Beasley (UK) produces hand-printed photographs that recall 19th century documentary practices. In her series ‘Zoo’, animals from Berlin Zoo are depicted going about everyday activities, alternately oblivious to their captivity or staring back intently at their visitors.

Michal Budny (Poland) creates sophisticated, meticulous reconstructions of objects and shapes taken from the immediate contemporary environment. His sculpture ‘Black & White’ (Box with a Shadow) combines cardboard with the light cast on its edges, utilising the works shadow as a transitory compositional device.

In his series based on Dutch old master etchings Cyprien Gaillard (France) has seamlessly blended designs for early modernist buildings into the pastoral landscapes of Rembrandt and his followers. The resulting combinations appear strangely convincing, containing nods to science fiction and utopian vision.

Mauricio Guillen (Mexico) produces interventions that introduce subtle adjustments to his surroundings. In ‘Mondo Cane’ he has reconfigured illustrations from Josef Alber’s 1963 book ‘Interaction Of Colour’ so that it is seen only in black, white, red and green – the same colour range perceived by dogs.

Alex Heim’s (UK) video ‘Grand Walk’ explores aspects of inner-city urban wildlife, capturing the particular circumstances of a family of swans that the artist found nesting alongside the banks of a London canal. Seemingly opposite poles, such as the man-made versus the natural, are seen here merging together.

Vlatka Horvat (Croatia) utilises a range of media, from performance, video and photography to installation and text-based pieces. In her video ‘Insults and Praises’ a man and a woman sit side-by-side in front of a mirror and take turns insulting and praising each other.

August Künnapu (Estonia) paints clear, brightly coloured imagery with a child-like naivety and authenticity. Often these paintings are closely related to his friends and personal interests. Recurring themes are portraits of authors, architects, actors and musicians.

The pencil drawings of Mindaugas Lukosaitis (Lithuania) refer to action comics and popular illustrations. With no words or text, the viewer is left to compose his or her own narrative. The artist’s cast of characters include historical and imaginary figures often in highly charged, atmospheric settings.

Work by Harold Offeh (Ghana) explores a series of killings that took place in San Francisco in the early 1970s. His video examines the media’s approach to reporting on and documenting the Zebra Murders, carried out by a group of black separatists, the so-called ‘Death Angels’.

In his drawing ‘For Lee Evans..., 2007’ Jamie Shovlin (UK) remembers the American runner Lee Evans who won two gold medals at the 1968 Olympic games. Evans’ achievements were largely overshadowed by his involvement in the famous protests against racial inequality that took place the same year.

Jannis Varelas (Greece) appropriates elements from diverse sources including cut-outs from magazines and imagery deriving from children’s drawings, primitive masks and a stereotyped paradise universe.

’Black & White’
23 March – 15 April
Ibid Projects
21 Vyner Street, London E2 9DG
Wed-Sun 12pm-6pm
t: 208 983 4355



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Print version

Håvard Homstvedt, Fold, 2007, pencil, charcoal and acrylic on paperPhoto: Courtesy of the artist and Ibid Projects.

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