Artist: Brad Grievson
Venue: VI, VII, Oslo
Exhibition Title: To the Editor, Dear Sir
Date: January 23 – March 8, 2015
Note: The poster associated with this exhibition is available for download here.
Full gallery of images, press release and link available after the jump.
Images courtesy of VI, VII, Oslo
To the Editor, Dear Sir:
It has come to our attention that a new sign has been posted on the beach which says that no dogs will be allowed there on. Therefore I am writing to protest this policy.
Very sincerely yours (Snoopy)
London-based artist Brad Grievson’s (b.1986) work is heavily involved with the possibilities for expanded notions of drawing. For the past several years he has engaged basic materials
such black cotton fabric, developing a body of work known unofficially as his ‘black fabric’ series.
Formally elegant, and remarkably violent at once, these works are composed from various torn and cut sections of black cotton cloth that are laid and arranged into configuration before being fixed onto canvas with a clear adhesive medium. Recently, the sections of fabric have started to relate to the measurements and format of newspaper broadsheets—a material the artist uses to prepare his studio for working during an informal process of composition that involves laying newspaper along the floor.
Newspapers are, of course, edited objects of information—controlled in terms of design, delivery and style—with an incredible amount of information produced for them daily. They enter into the London community from various pickup points and travel, newsstand to workplace; carried under arms; left tattered, torn or discarded after being read. Bereft of their original purpose, they end up being torn apart, used to protect floors, lining cat boxes; left scattered on tube trains. In To the Editor, Dear Sir, a meticulously produced 4.5 meter long drawing confers with a sculpture of a clock; a rough, basic and provisional reference to the time invested in working.
These join several of Brad’s black fabric works, which veer from the morbidly abstract towards the more vaguely literal, in which fragments of words and partial sentences start to appear.
Torn into the surfaces of the works are words such as ‘To the…’ and ‘Sir…’ all of which are taken from the 1972 animation, Snoopy Come Home. More specifically, they are taken from a scene in which the protagonist, a beagle who has otherwise been silent throughout, writes a letter to a newspaper editor to complain about the exclusion of dogs on a beach. Snoopy dictates; Woodstock types. The typed letter becomes a drawing within an animated sequence of drawings; a document arrived at by way of a conversation between two mute characters.
This represents the first time that the otherwise silent Snoopy ‘speaks’ and similarly, these works are the first by the artist in which text makes an appearance. VI, VII is located in Tordenskiolds gate 12, a building erected from 1935-37, during the heyday of newspaper production, a jazzy and unrepentantly formalist building near the waterfront, clad in hand-beaten bricks, which originally served as Oslo’s unemployment and social benefits office—the Trygdekasse, an early form of NAV.
Depending on how you choose to relate to these works with semi-ambiguous words cut into them, they might remind you of the tentative beginnings of a drawing, the folds in a sheet of paper, or carving – the kinds of marks you might see on a cut into a bench or a desk.
Brad Grievson (b. 1986) lives and works in London. Previous exhibitions include: Like A Virgin, VI, VII, Oslo (2014); a solo presentation at Miart, Milan with VI, VII (2014); Brad Grievson, Isbrytaren/Carl Kostyál, Stockholm (2014); and a presentation at the Italian Cultural Institute in London organized by Eugenio Re Rebaudengo (2014).
Link: Brad Grievson at VI, VII