Alan Johnston & Stanley Brouwn at SAFN, Berlin
Alan Johnston & Stanley Brouwn
September 25, 2015 – January 30, 2016
Opening: Thursday, September 24, 2015, 6-9 pm
at SAFN BERLIN
Levetzowstrasse 16, D-10555 Berlin
ALAN JOHNSTON (b. 1945, Edinburgh, Scotland) is considered one of the leading British geometric abstract artists. He is best known for his large-scale wall and ceiling drawings and architectural interventions. His subtle pencil works are characterized by a rigorous minimalistic style and a tendency towards the invisible, or, as the artist puts it, an “ever-present engagement with the creation of shadow.”
The exhibition Invisible Lines at Safn Berlin will feature several wall drawings as well as a number of small scale paintings. The wall drawings take the form of short irregular pencil marks, closely interwoven to form geometric shapes. These delicate shapes, although hardly recognizable, are prompted by the walls around them, heightening our awareness of the architecture. The exhibition space undergoes a mundane, yet powerful and almost magical act of transformation. This effect extends to the smaller works, which consist of wood or canvas on which heavy beeswax and pencil lead is applied. Often these works are constructed with a similar attention to space and/or negative space, while at the same time containing a much higher density of black in contrast to the muted wall works.
Johnston’s installations create an active relationship between the observer and the work which somehow lies between the visible and the invisible, the optical and the physical. His works are undoubtedly demanding on the viewer, bringing into play the complex connection between mind and eye.
Safn Berlin is also featuring one piece and a selection of books by Dutch conceptual artist STANLEY BROUWN (b. 1935, Paramaribo, Suriname). In his work Brouwn deals with distances, measurements, and spaces between two points, persons, or places. The results are delicate drawings, text works, and artist books which oscillate between the visible and the invisible – yet again.
Curated by Katharina Wendler.
Alan Johnston lives and works in Edinburgh. He has taken part in numerous exhibitions and biennials; solo exhibitions include Tate Britain (London, UK), Henry Moore Institute (Leeds, UK), Sleeper (Edinburgh, UK), U8 (Nagoya, JP), New Bedford Art Museum (New Bedford, USA), Arts Interdisciplinary Research Laboratory (Tbilisi, GA), Museum of Fine Art Houston (Texas, USA), Haus Wittgenstein (Vienna, AU), The Living Art Museum (Reykjavik, IS), Museum of Modern Art (Oxford, UK), Von der Heydt Museum (Wuppertal, DE), Shimada Gallery (Yamaguchi/Tokyo, JP).