HG Magazine: Issue no. 14
 ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ 

Issue no. 14

Driss Ouadahi in studio
Algerian Driss Ouadahi has developed a visual vocabulary that synthesizes architectural design and modernist grid painting to examine our contemporary culture's failure to address social, financial and political inequality.

Before immigrating to Europe and studying at the Kunstakademie in Düsseldorf, Ouadahi studied architecture, so it makes sense that his exploration begins with representations of the enormous public housing developments in Algiers that had been modeled on France’s habitation à loyer modéré (housing at moderated rents). In North Africa, these monoliths accommodate displaced rural populations; in Europe, they house immigrants from former colonies. They are both implements of separation and symbols of the politics of class, religion and ethnicity.
Driss Ouadahi, Anticipated Distance 2, 2020, oil on canvas, 15 3/4 x 18 1/2 inches
Behind concrete facades, human residents are neatly invisible. Even when the buildings are transparent, a lattice-like structure separates the viewer from the view. There are references to mashrabiya — the screened windows in traditional North African and Middle Eastern architecture — as well as to steel frame construction, scaffolding and barred windows. Boundaries abound.
Driss Ouadahi, Extra Muros, 2018, oil on canvas, 74 3/4 x 66 7/8 inches
Perhaps in response to his volunteer work — helping refugees from conflicts in the Middle East resettle in Germany — another of Ouadahi's recurring motifs is the chain link fence. Fencing is a very real impediment to the movement of the millions of people fleeing war and violence or seeking a better life. It’s used to shut people out, pen people in and divide “them” from “us.” The fence is a dehumanizing symbol of “otherness” — a metaphor for alienation — as ugly a signifier as it is an object. In Ouadahi’s depictions, woven steel wire is delicately-rendered against the sky. Sometimes it’s stretched taught across the picture plane as an unbroken barrier, but more often it is slashed open like a gaping wound or the regularity of the grid is bent out-of-shape, evidence that someone has torn through or scrambled up and over. These are images of struggle and irrepressibility… a message to those who call for the building of walls and the closing of borders.
Driss Ouadahi, Aurora, 2016, oil on canvas, 78 3/4 x 70 7/8 inches
From an art historical perspective, Ouadahi’s work is significant because it subverts abstract painting's traditional lack of content by using the formalist grid to signify partition. Moreover, its emotional power derives from its recognition of the failure of Western democracy’s promise to improve the lives of the disadvantaged and disenfranchised.

Driss Ouadahi’s newest paintings will be the subject of a solo exhibition at Hosfelt Gallery from October 17 to November 28, 2020.
Watch Driss Ouadahi in studio

In Conversation

Join us over Zoom for a conversation between Abby Chen, Senior Associate Curator & Head of Contemporary Art at the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco, and artist Crystal Liu on Thursday, July 30 from 6 - 7 pm PST.

Click here to join the virtual studio visit at 6 pm on July 30.
Crystal Liu, You gave me the moon, 2020, gouache, watercolor, collage and ink on paper
The Yale Center for British Arts presents at home: Artists in Conversation with Rina Banerjee (Yale MFA 1995) and Postdoctoral Research Associate Rachel Stratton on August 14 from 5 - 6 pm EST.

Register for the Zoom conversation here.
Rina Banerjee, Standing trial by man and the family of Man denied she wore the hardest but turtle shells on her mossy back heels dug on hers alone a golden island with foaming waters at edge, exhausted by humanity his fears of others, mothers, girls and boys that could pass mustard., 2019, acrylic and gold leaf on wood panel, 20 x 16 inches

Closing Soon

Gideon Rubin: Black Book
Jerusalem Artists' House
on view through August 8

First exhibited at the Freud Museum, London in 2018, Gideon Rubin's Black Book is now on view at the Jerusalem Artists' House. As source material, Rubin mined photographs illustrating a serialized English-language edition of Adolf Hitler’s autobiography, Mein Kampf, that was published in 1939.

"Originally these pictures masked abhorrent content. Designed to beguile and allure they aimed to dilute the Nazi message. Rubin, by removing aspects of the images, subverts this. Erasing part of them heightens our sensitivity to the context; painting over the pictures makes us more aware of their message. He plays with our collective knowledge and our collective memory. We know the doctrine these images promoted without being told. We can see how these images helped the spread of Nazism and in the faceless figures, we can see ourselves." — The London Magazine
Gideon Rubin, Black Book, page 242-243, 2017, gouache on paper, 18 1/2 x 25 inches;
photographer Richard Ivey

Art @ Home

Stefan Kürten
Gideon Rubin
Emil Lukas
Nicole Phungrasamee Fein
Birgit Jensen
Ben McLaughlin

In the Gallery

Tim Hawkinson

Tantric Drip Drawings
on view through August 29
Tim Hawkinson: Tantric Drip Drawings installation view
More widely known for his sculpture practice, Tim Hawkinson returns to drawing in this new body of work entitled Tantric Drip Drawings.

Created over the course of a year, these drawings were made through Hawkinson’s typically inventive approach, whereby he designs and constructs the tools necessary for the project at hand. He built a large, wall-mounted “turntable" on which he attached human-sized sheets of Yupo paper. Using an apparatus he constructed from a recycled plastic water bottle, tubing, a pulley system, a needle, and a small vacuum (think dental hygienist tool), he applied India ink and allowed it to run down the paper, methodically arresting the ink mid-flow or allowing it to drip off the paper. Through the course of the series, Hawkinson created increasingly complex geometric forms, all based on the template of a circle, but using only straight lines.

The work is installed at the gallery chronologically, beginning with the earliest pieces and ending with the final piece in the series. Coupled with the drawings are their titles, which evoke a primal language as a translation of the visual forms.

To view the exhibition in person, please make an appointment for your visit. You will have 40 minutes to see the show privately. You may call the gallery or use our online calendar: calendly.com/hosfelt-gallery.

In the Shop

Gideon Rubin, Red Rose, 2014, sugar lift aquatint and monoprint with hand-coloring on paper (unique);
image 6 7/8 x 6 7/8 inches; sheet 15 3/8 x 11 1/4 inches; $1,200
Crystal Liu, in the dead of winter, in the dead of winter, 2006, digital c-print, 29 x 29 inches; $4,800
Rina Banerjee, Fish Mother, digital print on paper with hand-painted details, 11 x 7 1/2 inches; $1,250
Driss Ouadahi, Block I, 2006, oil on canvas, 13 3/4 x 17 3/4 inches; $3,100
Hosfelt Gallery is located at 260 Utah St, between 15th & 16th streets. Wheelchair accessible entrance at 255A Potrero Avenue. For more information call 415.495.5454 or visit hosfeltgallery.com.

Open by appointment Monday through Saturday
To schedule an appointment, call the gallery or sign up online:

Hours: M, Tu, W, F, Sa 10-5:30, Th 11-7

Copyright © 2020 Hosfelt Gallery, All rights reserved.