London Art Fair: Edit 2021: Sue Arrowsmith, Pierre Bergian, Celine Bodin, Jonathan Delafield Cook, Susan Derges, Ralph Fleck, Leila Jeffreys, Sandra Kantanen, Eeva Karhu, Anni Leppala, Diana Matar, Ornulf Opdahl, David Quinn, Anna Reivila, Santeri Tuori, Bettina von Zwehl

19 - 31 January 2021
  • Sue Arrowsmith

  • Sue Arrowsmith

  • Pierre Bergian

    • Pierre Bergian, Between two doors, 2020
      Pierre Bergian, Between two doors, 2020
    • Pierre Bergian, Camaieu, 2020
      Pierre Bergian, Camaieu, 2020
    • Pierre Bergian, Le Secretaire, 2020
      Pierre Bergian, Le Secretaire, 2020
  • Pierre Bergian

    'I never paint artificial light. I love some sunshine coming into a room, with a lot of shadow. I also like the light of the winter sun, entering very deeply, and moonlight, especially in old houses, when it reflects on the walls, floors, and ceilings. Light in a building can be so delicate..... Before I begin painting, I often make sketches of interiors. Some of these are quite realistic, while others are more or less compilations of what I have seen, perhaps impressions of reality. While painting or sketching, I imagine walking through spaces, opening windows, doors, and passages, and then closing others, to create another perspective, light or atmosphere. Sometimes this can be seen on the paintings, where underlying layers of paint, or even interiors, might be visible. I use fragments of older paintings in new rooms, often as a mirror, and this makes the work more like an archaeological object that contains layers of different periods. Thus, my paintings are in some way a meeting of history, archaeology and architecture'. (Pierre Bergian)

     

  • Céline Bodin

    • Céline Bodin, Rothko Project 5 , 2020
      Céline Bodin, Rothko Project 5 , 2020
    • Céline Bodin, Rothko Project 6, 2020
      Céline Bodin, Rothko Project 6, 2020
    • Céline Bodin, Rothko Project 4, 2020
      Céline Bodin, Rothko Project 4, 2020
  • Céline Bodin

    'The photographs from The Rothko Project are visions of abstraction; they render only the intrusion of light on blank film. Chance is an important factor in the making of these images: they demonstrate a refusal to control. In fact, they are rather encounters, made from discarded pieces of negatives that I have selected and gathered over the years, with a secret delectation for their accidental appearance, which I had immediately associated with the paintings of Mark Rothko.

    These have been part of my archive since 2013, but it was during the 2020 lockdown that I decided to finally put them together, not out of practicality but rather because of a need to pause. I wanted to create something that would soothe my senses, in a time of constant restlessness and certain pressure to reflect, create and make use of one’s time. I moved away from my usual subjects, in a search for contemplative content and, after re-editing years of collected pieces of film, I finalised The Rothko Project in a homage to the sensitivity of the much admired painter.

     

    There is no texture to these prints, which stresses their strong photographic significance as mediums of realness yet impalpable dimension. They are windows onto minimal and sensorial ‘landscapes’, from which a glossy finish offers a chance to catch the passing reflections of viewers and their world. They are pure form and colour, each with their own resonance within us. They are a celebration of the materiality of film and the sovereignty of light.' (Céline Bodin)

  • Susan Derges

    • Susan Derges, Seed Constellation 2, 2020
      Susan Derges, Seed Constellation 2, 2020
    • Susan Derges, River Taw Willow 3, 1998 - 2020
      Susan Derges, River Taw Willow 3, 1998 - 2020
    • Susan Derges, River Taw, Streens, Gold Fir, 1998-2020
      Susan Derges, River Taw, Streens, Gold Fir, 1998-2020
  • Susan Derges

    In the spring of 2020 Susan Derges began germinating mixed seeds in a warm and dark corner of her studio and became captivated by the extraordinary qualities of new life emerging from the variously shaped husks of the seeds. She writes, 'They were so expressive of an irrepressible and mysterious movement towards growth and life that it was impossible not to anthropomorphise each one, and regard them as sharing some of the essential qualities of other embryonic life forms, including ours'.

     

    Over twenty years ago Susan Derges began her series of river prints, capturing the continuous movement of water by submerging photographic paper into rivers. Working at night, she used the light of the moon and a hand-held torch to expose images directly onto light sensitive paper. The unstable and uncertain conditions left several prints scratched by a stone or overhanging branch or the water failed to stabilise evenly. With new technology Derges has been able to revisit and rework these previously unseen prints, allowing her to digitally produce in small editions original dye transfer prints on a human scale, which eloquently suggests our inclusion.

  • Ralph Fleck

    • Ralph Fleck , Genova 3 11, 2019
    • Ralph Fleck , Genova 31 1, 2019
      Ralph Fleck , Genova 31 1, 2019
    • Ralph Fleck, Bucher 19 III, 2020
      Ralph Fleck, Bucher 19 III, 2020
    • Ralph Fleck, Roma 11 VII , 2020
      Ralph Fleck, Roma 11 VII , 2020
  • Ralph Fleck

    As a student Ralph Fleck had a teacher who insisted that nothing was unworthy of being painted. It is a credo he has stuck with, creating his own painterly language which involves movement between moments of close observation and of objective distance.

     

    Every inch of a painting’s surface is important to him and each is painted with the same absorption and intensity. It is vital that the brush marks are both raw and immediate. When he paints book stacks, or a city, it is the idea of books or a city; something of their essence, rather than their particular­ity, that is captured in paint.  However intuitive a painting may appear, its journey is rarely haphazard, but part of a process of looking and a continuing dialogue with the material of paint.

  • Jonathan Delafield Cook

    • Jonathan Delafield Cook, Border Leicester Sheep , 2020
      Jonathan Delafield Cook, Border Leicester Sheep , 2020
  • Jonathan Delafield Cook

    The natural world is Jonathan Delafield Cook's inspiration and his works reflect the complex beauty of the world that surrounds us, from animate to inanimate elements. His exquisite charcoal drawings, often life size, of a diversity of subjects - sheep, bulls, flowers, nests, whales, minerals, barnacles - have a remarkable attention to detail. Much of his time is spent in research collections of museums, and he has a strong interest in the areas where art and science overlap. Direct references to a long tradition of rigour and close observation in classification and taxonomic illustration are made, but in the end Cook is engaged in creating works of art for their graphic, abstract or tonal potential.

  • Leila Jeffreys

    • Leila Jeffreys, From the series High Society, The Tweets, 2019
      Leila Jeffreys, From the series High Society, The Tweets, 2019
    • Leila Jeffreys, From the series High Society, Pineapple, 2019
      Leila Jeffreys, From the series High Society, Pineapple, 2019
  • Leila Jeffreys

    Through extensive research and travel, with long periods of waiting on her subjects ,Leila Jeffreys is able to separate wonderful creatures from their natural surroundings and photograph them with the highest degree of technical skill.

     

    Leila Jeffreys' series of works include Bioela Wild Cockatoo 2012, Prey 2014 (birds of prey) and Ornithurae 2017 (cockatoos, doves and pigeons). In addition to rare, endangered and more commoplance species, Jeffreys has also photographed the budgerigar – a commonplace bird in its native country of Australia. A wish to convey that the beauty of small birds is often overlooked led Jeffreys to photograph the budgerigar, in the series entitled High Society 2019, with a similar approach given to a human portrait.

  • Sandra Kantanen

    • Sandra Kantanen, Forest 21, 2021
      Sandra Kantanen, Forest 21, 2021
  • Sandra Kantanen

    `I have been trying to understand photography by dissecting light, what is in front of the camera? Where is the picture being recorded? Is it a picture of reality? What is real? I started combining photography with painting to see what photography is not. Landscape ended up being my backdrop to address these questions. I went to China to study Chinese landscape painting. I climbed up and down their Holy Mountains for many years to find a picture that was inside my head. The Chinese landscape tradition contained a unique way of looking at nature that was in stark contrast with the state of real nature in China today. Eighteen years later I am still photographing landscapes but have learnt to see pictures closer. The Forest smoke works series is photographed just five minutes from my home. The way I work now is more intuitive, and at the same time more complex. I follow the weather, light, time of day, time of year. I see details in the dense forest more clearly. Wherever I go on this narrow peninsula I stumble upon remnants from the war - it was left scattered with landmines. I have staged these forests with smoke bombs. The psychedelic colour of the smoke detaches the landscape from reality, forcing the viewer to look closer. I wonder if trees can carry a memory'. (Sandra Kantanen)'

  • Eeva Karhu

    • Eeva Karhu, From the Path series, Winter 2 , 2020
      Eeva Karhu, From the Path series, Winter 2 , 2020
    • Eeva Karhu, From the Path series, Winter 3, 2020
      Eeva Karhu, From the Path series, Winter 3, 2020
  • Eeva Karhu

    When Eeva Karhu walks out of her front door some 13 kilometres from the centre of Helsinki, she very much looks as if she intends to walk in a straight line. She takes a photograph and heads for the horizon. Her works are full of the horizon, each individual work is the amalgam of 86 different photographs, harvesting light from one moment to the next. The result is not just one place, but an emotional space which she travels through to find the beginning and ending of every day, a passage of time. After a while of looking at her photographs one starts seeing a single figure in the centre of the picture. It is coming to claim us rather like Omar Sharif in the scene where he slowly appears out of the desert in David Lean’s Lawrence of Arabia. Though there is an element of the same purity as in Hiroshi Sugimoto’s Seascapes, she is not pursuing the near perfect horizontal line of the sea or desert. Her feet are firmly on Finnish soil and the pictures trace her path to the horizon and back. If she lived in a desert or on the sea her method would only require two photographs, one at the point of departure and the other at the point she decreed the horizon, but the trees, houses, hillocks, bushes and other features of the landscape on her doorstop requires her to halt 86 times, and take another picture of another horizon.' (Alistair Hicks)

  • Anni Leppälä

    • Anni Leppälä, Light (after de La Tour) , 2020
      Anni Leppälä, Light (after de La Tour) , 2020
    • Anni Leppälä, Portrait of a Girl , 2020
      Anni Leppälä, Portrait of a Girl , 2020
    • Anni Leppälä, Winter house , 2020
      Anni Leppälä, Winter house , 2020
  • Anni Leppälä

    Anni Leppälä's work explores the relationship between the past and present. It is a visual expanse that covers a multitude of landscapes, surfaces and enclosed spaces. Like stylized postcards or snapshots, her works take on an aura of frozen time, recording both fleeting moments and the small glimpses of larger tales from which they are taken. She draws from memories, loss, longing and early adolescence, seeking an experience of connection and closeness but also the act of recognizing something vaguely familiar. Things are often veiled, hidden or turning away, but are in their own sphere of intense, remote closeness. Photographs transform their subjects and evoke a feeling of sudden recognition that is not visible on the surface. Leppälä is trying to trace those translucent paths into the unseen and invisible - to seek an inner experience which only the images can convey.

  • Diana Matar

    • Diana Matar, From the series Tête à Tête, No.2 Unidentified Portrait, 2019
      Diana Matar, From the series Tête à Tête, No.2 Unidentified Portrait, 2019
    • Diana Matar, From the series Tête à Tête, No.6 Athena Parthenos, 2019
      Diana Matar, From the series Tête à Tête, No.6 Athena Parthenos, 2019
    • Diana Matar, From the series Tête à Tête, No.9 Unidentified Portrait, 2019
      Diana Matar, From the series Tête à Tête, No.9 Unidentified Portrait, 2019
  • Diana Matar

    In May 2019, I was offered an artist’s residency at the National Archaeological Museum in Naples, which holds an extensive collection of Greek and Roman antiquities. In the Museum I looked at the work of artists who, centuries earlier, had studied the human form. I looked at faces on ancient coins, in delicate mosaics, and the faces of warriors. But mostly I returned to the sculptures. I found myself circling around them, staring into their eyes.

    Face to face, these ancient human likenesses were animated and poignantly contemporary. In one of the grand halls, there were several busts of Marcus Aurelius, as well as sculptures of Claudius, Tiberius, Hadrian and Caesar. But it was the modest bust of an unknown boy that interested me most. I looked through my lens and he seemed to be returning my gaze. Perhaps it was his anonymity that allowed me to see him clearly. It was then that I started to approach these sculptures as individuals, even when they were of the same historical figure, as in the case of Aurelius. By looking closely at them I felt they were collaborating with me in the creation of a portrait.

    I have often observed, for example, that when the sitter has an idea of how they want to project themselves, the portrait most often fails. Equally, when I have a preconceived idea of what I want to communicate, the photograph almost always lacks life and authenticity. It is only when both the subject and I forget what each of us wants that there is a chance of producing a truthful portrait. This was true also with the sculptures. It is why I call the work Tête-à-Tête. In French the phrase means something slightly different from the English ‘face to face’. Tête-à-Tête implies an exchange of confidences and a state of mutual sympathy. In the month that I spent at the National Archaeological Museum in Naples, this was what I felt was passing between me and the unique and vivid personalities captured in these stone figures.' (Diana Matar)

  • Ornulf Opdahl

  • Ornulf Opdahl

    The paintings of Ørnulf Opdahl (born 1944, Alesund, Norway) explore the vast and majestic landscapes of the west coast of Norway, where the artist lives and works. Moving between observation and abstraction, Opdahl employs strong elements of colour and shape to build up compositions that highlight the scale of his environment. Dark masses of towering mountains, often draped in fog or snow, are offset by pin pricks of manmade light shining in the black; signs of humanity's small existence amongst these epic proportions of nature. The sheer cliff faces of the deep fjords, impenetrable but for a few solitary rays of sunlight, merge with the darkening skies. The interplay between dark and light against such backdrops suggest a sense of both the ancient and the eternal.

     

    Opdahl's paintings, watercolours and prints relate poetic encounters between sea and land, storm and stillness, fjords and steep mountains, and dense clouds descending towards land from the ocean. Though his works portray the dramatic landscape of the Western Fjords they are less concerned with a specific place than the essence of the natural world around him. 

     

  • David Quinn

    • David Quinn, From the Turrock series, No.2, 2020
      David Quinn, From the Turrock series, No.2, 2020
    • David Quinn, From the Turrock series, No.3, 2020
      David Quinn, From the Turrock series, No.3, 2020
    • David Quinn, From the Turrock series, No.4, 2020
      David Quinn, From the Turrock series, No.4, 2020
    • David Quinn, From the Turrock series, No.6, 2020
      David Quinn, From the Turrock series, No.6, 2020
    • David Quinn, From the Turrock series, No.7, 2020
      David Quinn, From the Turrock series, No.7, 2020
  • David Quinn

    'David Quinn's studio is a small, white, rectangular space. Small abstract paintings, the size of old paperbacks that can be nestled in one hand, hang in a line at eye-level on opposite walls. Each painting is a unit, both unique and part of a greater whole: words in a sentence, notes in a tune, hours in a day. At first glance they appear to be simple works, minimal and understated, but look again. Focus on the edges, see the layers built up like strata in sedimentary rock. Each layer is a page, a painting that Quinn has stuck down, studied, added to and covered up. Working on several paintings at once, Quinn considers them as markers of time. They are abstract and yet, they represent time worked and time spent in contemplation. Another definition of abstract - a summary of the contents of a book, article, or speech - is also relevant. The finished paintings are summaries of the process of their creation: concentrated forms or essences.' (Riann Coulter)

  • Anna Reivilä

    • Anna Reivila, From the series Bond, No.43, 2020
      Anna Reivila, From the series Bond, No.43, 2020
  • Anna Reivilä

    As a land artist and photographer Anna Reivilä's work is deeply engrained in the tradition of black and white photography and is the result of long periods of time spent in uninhabited region. She makes vibrant, crisp images of her alterations in the landscape - ropes precariously weaved and knotted around objects: trees, rocks and floating ice. These images, a combination of photography, sculpture and performance, make up her photographic series, Bond, in which coverings and overlays necessitate a very gentle and deliberate hand while interacting with powerful natural elements. 

    'According to Japanese religious ceremonies, ropes and ties symbolize the connections among people and the divine, as a means to identify sacred space and time. Inspired by Nobuyoshi Araki's images and their combination of raw violence and beauty, I study the relationship between man and nature by referring to the Japanese bondage tradition. The Japanese word for bondage, kinaki-bi, literally means 'the beauty of tight binding'. It is a delicate balance between being held together and being on the verge of breaking. I search spaces where nature’s elements combine to create interesting natural tensions and continue this dialogue through my interpretations by extending, wrapping and pulling upon these indigenous forms. I create a new sense of volume from the existing components. Using ropes as lines is my form of drawing. The lines create interactions, making connections between the elements — a reinterpretation of the landscape. These three-dimensional drawings are physically unstable — they exist only for the moment. By recording the process the photograph becomes part of the piece. The lines drawn by the ropes describe how shapes of the elements and the connections between them come visible when something alien is added. I’m not only changing their essence, but also my own point of view. Every space is different and I’m interested in how the volume of any given site can be stretched by the use of several simple lines’. (Anna Reivilä)

  • Santeri Tuori

    • Santeri Tuori, Forest 44, 2019
      Santeri Tuori, Forest 44, 2019
    • Santeri Tuori , Forest 46, 2021
      Santeri Tuori , Forest 46, 2021
    • Santeri Tuori, Sky 32, 2020
      Santeri Tuori, Sky 32, 2020
    • Santeri Tuori, Sky 35, 2021
      Santeri Tuori, Sky 35, 2021
  • Santeri Tuori

    A multifaceted artist, Santeri Tuori's work is primarily focused on the properties of nature and its power to change. Photographing in his native Finland his recent subjects include skies, forests and waterlilies.

    For the Forest series Tuori has spent much time on the remote island of Kökar in the Aland archipelago in southwestern Finland. He photographs repeatedly the same place, from the identical spot, at different seasons and times of day, sometimes years apart. Multiple images, both black and white and colour, are then superimposed. Likewise, the moving images from the Forest series are the result of layering colour video with black and white photographs. The series, like all his work, reveals his preoccupation with the passage of time.

  • Bettina von Zwehl

    • Bettina von Zwehl, Cut-out 30 , 2020
      Bettina von Zwehl, Cut-out 30 , 2020
    • Bettina von Zwehl, Cut-out 34, 2020
      Bettina von Zwehl, Cut-out 34, 2020
  • Bettina von Zwehl

    Bettina von Zwehl writes of this series, `Cut-outs is an ongoing series of portrait studies and collages, each one created as a unique work. The series evolved out of my fascination, which intensified during lock-down, with the derivatives of the creative process; fragments of paper and other darkroom ‘leftovers’ as well as reinterpretations of existing material from my archives.

    Formally, the works reference the 18th Century practice of silhouette portraiture - a pre-photographic and cheap method of capturing a person’s likeness.

    I try to work instinctively – with a large pair of dressmaking scissors as my favourite tool. With them, and through them, I sculpt the thick fibre based photographic paper allowing my impulses to be both creative and destructive. Through a combination of tearing, cutting and reconfiguration of the now separate elements, hybrid objects that shift between portrait and plant, human and animal, negative and positive, emerge.

    As portraits, it isn’t my intention to produce any knowledge or ‘insights’ into the person depicted - instead these photographic objects open out a space behind the image surface, thus catalysing new meanings, new associations, new understandings.'