A Language All Her Own: Franciszka Themerson at l’etrangere

It seemed to me that the interrelation between these two sides: order in nature on the one side, and the human condition on the other, was the undefinable drama to be grasped, dealt with and communicated by me. – Franciszka Themerson, Bi-abstract Pictures, 1957

One of our favourite London gallery’s, l’étrangère, is coming to us November 4 with a brand new solo exhibition of paintings drawings and calligrammes by Franciszka Themerson, a seminal figure in the Polish pre-war avant-garde.

Calligramme XXIII (fossil); Black, gold and red paint on paper, 1961

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Looking In: Katharina Marszewski’s ‘All Eyez Inn’ at l’étrangère

With her latest exhibition, ‘All Eyez Inn,’ opening tonight at l’étrangére, Polish-born artist, Katharina Marszewski, seeks to highlight what she considers to be an absolutely integral condition of our humanity: the act of looking in.

Through work that incorporates sculpture, screen printing and photography, Katharina has created an installation showcasing our contemporary reality, which melds together the past, present and future.

4. Katharina Marszewski, Here Comes the Intuition, 2015 © Katharina Marszewski. Courtesy the artist and l’étrangère.jpg
Katharina Marszewski, Here Comes Intuition, 2015 c. Katharina Marszewski. Courtesy of the artist and l’etrangere.

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‘A re-negotiation with Modernism’ – David Ben White at l’étrangère

Inside Outside at  l’étrangère presents a new body of work encompassing painting and sculpture by the British artist, David Ben White.

Absorbed within the language and aspirations of modernist architecture, design and art, White’s paintings and sculptures disrupt the self-enclosed logic of this prescriptive legacy through a subversion of its objects and spaces. For his first exhibition at l’étrangère, White will treat the spaces of the gallery as subjects to be reinterpreted; the homogenous model of the white cube is reformed via signifiers of a familiar, domestic interior. Upon entering the gallery, a constructed environment comprising painting, sculpture and vinyl installation draws the viewer into a re-configuration of the relationship between gallery, artwork and spectator, one that gestures towards an interior design logic.

I had the chance to speak with David about his artistic practice and forthcoming exhibition.

David Ben White, Installation view, 2015 | © David Ben White. Courtesy the artist and l’étrangère
David Ben White, Installation view, 2015 | © David Ben White, Photo: Angelo Plantamura. Courtesy the artist and l’étrangère

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‘Weapons are not very far from artworks:’ Joanna Rajkowska at l’étrangère

The upcoming exhibition Painkillers at l’étrangère brings into conversation new and existing sculptural works by the renowned Polish artist, Joanna Rajkowska.

Noted for her ambitious interventions in public space, as well as her objects, films, photography, installations and ephemeral actions, Rajkowska’s practice interrogates individual and collective bodies as politicised sites of historical, ideological and psychological conflict. For her inaugural exhibition at l’étrangère, Rajkowska unites two object-based series under the rubric, Painkillers, in order to explore the at times uncomfortable connections between modern warfare, healing systems and the practices of Western science.

I had the chance to talk to Joanna about both her artistic practice and forthcoming exhibition.

Joanna Rajkowska, Uzi submachine gun, 2014 | © Joanna Rajkowska. Courtesy ŻAK | BRANICKA & l’étrangère
Joanna Rajkowska, Uzi submachine gun, 2014 | © Joanna Rajkowska. Courtesy ŻAK | BRANICKA & l’étrangère

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Emma Hart and Jonathan Baldock Take on the Human Body in ‘SUCKERZ’

L’étrangère gallery is back Wednesday 24 June with yet another ambitious and innovative exhibition, this time from British artists Emma Hart and Jonathan Baldock. The presentation of body-themed sculptural works, which focus especially on our physical entrances and exit ways, is entitled ‘SUCKERZ and is sure to leave the viewer wide-eyed and open-mouthed. Imagine a banquet table set with breast shaped plates and tongue napkin rings. Long arms with graceful fingers holding up trays of what appear to be the outline of wine glasses and carafes. Eyeballs made of shells and mouths spilling with pearls, all coming together into a sort of Bacchinalian feast of the body and it’s parts. The work, especially Hart’s is reminiscent of Sarah Lucas, with that ballsy YBA no-fear aura. I, for one, cannot wait.

Emma Hart and Jonathan Baldock, 2015
Emma Hart and Jonathan Baldock, 2015

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Anita Witek Deconstructs Photography at L’étrangère

In case it’s not already completely obvious, I love photography. Perhaps it’s my background in film, or the fact that the first time I can remember longing for love was when I set eyes on Robert Doisneau‘s photograph ‘Le Baiser de l’hôtel de ville,’ but whatever the reason, the medium has always been one I connect with.

And so last evening, I followed my passion for photo all the way to Shoreditch for the private view of Austrian artist, Anita Witek‘s, first UK solo show, ‘How to work live better‘ at l’étrangère gallery. Anita’s work in this exhibition, which combines montage, photography and installation, explores the manipulative nature of the photographic medium. By cutting and combining diverse photographic elements from printed sources that include magazines, newspapers, posters and books, Anita creates something wholly invented and completely new. So while the piece we are looking at it may very well appear to be, for example, a contemporary interior, it is actually just a fictional scene produced by a layering of utterly non-related material.

Anita Witek at l'etrangere
Anita Witek at l’étrangère

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