The Koppel Project Hive | 26-30 Holborn Viaduct | London EC1A 2AT | www.thekoppelproject.com
11 September – 16 October 2020
Monday – Friday 10am – 6pm
The Koppel Project is pleased to present Urban Reckoning: a show about urban living as a driving force in art. This group exhibition gathers together eight international artists working in response to the cities they inhabit. Through deeply personal and profoundly objective observation, the artworks in this show discuss the impact of artists’ surroundings on their creative expression, through manipulating mediums as diverse as virtual reality, sculpture, painting, drawing, and video art.
The work of Joonhong Min (London/Seoul), curator of Urban Reckoning, contemplates both the anxiety and creativity he derives from living in cities around the world. For him “the artists are observer, with the object of observation being suspended between the world and their personal life, expressing the unconsciousness of the individual through diverse mediums”. Co-curator Sarah Lightman (London), whose art is about city and the self, recognises that as the exhibition opens during the pandemic it also explores: “our new fraught relationship with the city. We cannot be part of the outside world as we were before”.
The other artists included in the show bring more and more layers to the reflective palimpsest of this mirror to the city. Christopher Farrell (London) works in a combination of virtual reality and painting. His art layers elements of urban architecture to create a futuristic and abstract rendering of urban space. David Blackmore’s (Dublin/London) art discusses consumerism and identity. His recent projects include scraping away the country emblem on his passport as way of answering the muddled question of nationality amidst growing immigration and globalisation.
Helena Ben-Zenou’s (London) art has morphed from textural representation of industrial architecture into a distinct layering of abstract painting and photography to explore the niche details of urban landscapes. Sam van Strien (London) is a multimedia artist focused on urban and corporate architecture through recording the surface texture of buildings across the cities he inhabits. Through an accumulation of rubbings, van Strien has created an archive likened to that of a horticulturist: a unique analysis of urban specimens.
Sunyoung Hwang (London/Seoul) works in total abstraction. She finds inspiration in the act of walking by allowing her art to morph as she explores the path of her paints on the canvas. They change direction with the wind and bring her to a place she never expected. Ziad Nagy (London), a multimedia artist, does not attach himself to any singular meaning. Thus, he allows his work to stem from one thought or feeling and transform through time and action to completion.
Walking through Urban Reckoning, the viewer is transported into the eyes and environments of the artists through a compilation of memories and sensory details. Their inspirations blend internal and external responses to urban spaces and represent, in their variety, the multiplicity of perception. Through the process of walking around, cycling through, and living in cities, these artists observe the minutiae and the vastness of the urban experience. Life happens up close in cities, and the artists in Urban Reckoning analyse the common themes which exist between their urban lives through perception, adaption, and expression.