Wednesday, 30 September 2015


                                   COLLATERAL DRAWING BERLIN
                                                  at rosalux, Berlin

Curated by Bella Easton and Paul Carey-Kent - Art writer and independent curator

Private view: Friday 25 September 2015, 19:00 - 23:00

Continues: 26 Sept – 17 Oct: Saturdays & Sun 27 Sept 15.00 – 18.00, and by appointment

Wriezener Straße 12,
13359 Berlin-Wedding
Phone: +49 171 835 91 47

Full images at 

Marta Marce | Mark Titchner | Gordon Cheung | Artists Anonymous | Sinta Werner  Simon Mullan  |  Luke Gottelier  |  Claudia Carr  |  Thoralf Knobloch  | Bella Easton

There’s more to an artwork than its finished state, but exhibitions concentrate on that, along perhaps with preparatory studies which act as preliminary versions of that state. Yet there may be any number of bi-products from the making of an artwork, and that is what Collateral Drawing explores. That may take such forms as the stage setting, models or constructions which are created in order to facilitate the work itself; the redefinition of past work as collateral to a future work in which it is repurposed; various means of recycling aspects of a practice; or the marks which result – serendipitously, but with a more than accidental logic – from the production itself.

Every artist has their own unique working method that habitually causes repetitive marks to be inflicted onto their studio surfaces. Whether dripped, scratched, taped, cut, erased, smeared, hammered: all are repetitive and typically unguarded instances of the process of drawing. The wall, floor or table acts as a raw surface and means to capture these on-going activities that the artist ritualistically performs; the remains of the method left behind is as familiar as it is often taken for granted in an artist’s practice and is rarely publicly exposed. These studio surfaces are an integral part and an extension of the drawing process, which are then discarded, or severed from the work. They hold a fascination of their own: not just as a documentation of the artist’s creative process, but as an insight into the relationship between what is subconscious and conscious in the artist’s drawing practice.

Collateral Drawing Berlin explores the relationship between finished works and the collateral drawing which fed into or resulted from their making in the work of ten artists with London or Berlin connections - Each artist was approached by the curators six months in advance and asked to retain the collateral elements of some new work, including by isolating part of the studio with a customised temporary blank surface that could then be used to record the artists’ subconscious actions around their day-to-day creativity. These raw surfaces were then carefully removed from the studio, now to be displayed alongside an artwork that the artist produced onto them during this period.

The Collateral Drawing Series was launched at Plymouth College of Art in February 2014, followed by an Anglo - Greek collaboration between six artists - three from each country - in Athens in May 2014.



Born Vilafranca del Penedes, Barcelona, Spain, 1972, lives in Berlin

The Spanish painter Marta Marcé, who lived in London for a decade before settling in Berlin, became known for displaying a playful and bold abstract language through the rules of games: the movements and shapes of Tangram, Mikado and Scaletrix, for example, all acted as the generator of paintings. She understood as a metaphor for life: both involve systems, sets of rules, decision making and chance – and a balance between order and freedom. The title of Marcé’s most recent set of paintings, Now & Ever, may hint at the life requirement to negotiate between present and future concerns, as well as the permanent effects of spontaneous painterly gestures – but they don’t derive from any particular game. Still, No. 42 feels ludic, as if free rules are being applied. There's a gentle, because lyrical,  contradiction between four perspective viewpoints; and masking tape is applied as a means of drawing, then ripped away with unpredictable results – including the collateral consequence of the coloured strips shown alongside the painting.

Shown in exhibition: Now & Ever 42, 2015 – acrylic on canvas




Born Luton, England, 1973, lives in London

Mark Titchner, who was nominated for the Turner Prize in 2006, sees his art as a dialogue about how we receive ideas. Most typically be blows text up to billboard sizing and presents it with baroque detailing and hallucinogenic colour. His strategy is to call attention to the full range of the systems of belief - from religion and politics to advertising, trade unionism, science and prog rock – through which we seek transcendence. Out of their context, the slogans seem empty, leaving us with an unsatisfied urge towards meaning which could be a critique of the words’ new context – that of art. Here he scales back, so to speak, to second hand books merely trebled in size. That’s enough, though, to magnify their aesthetic of imperfection as worn objects. The statements they make are also magnified: by digitally adjusting and removing some text from a high resolution scans to leave the elemental core to stand stark. Here we can compare the results to the books in which the work originated.  As for the impact – 'Please Explain'…

Shown in exhibitionPlease explainFear of lifeGames people play – 2015, digital prints



Born London, 1975, lives in London

British-Born Chinese artist Gordon Cheung is best known for creating artificial spaces in which to tackle religion, consumerism, capitalism and mythology through hallucinatory, post-apocalyptic and often lurid multi-media collage paintings. He's used stock listings from the Financial Times newspaper as a ground since 1995, reflecting his interest in the way we move between the physical world and the virtual realities of communications technology, global finance and the Internet. Cheung has also explored excess and destruction though the charged approach of burning the Financial Times. Here he shows a dark installation of unorthodox drawings linked by the War on Terror,  including the bread (slang for ‘money’) bin in which that incineration takes place, along with newspaper logs and the collateral ash; a newspaper with a story about ISIS turned into a black flag in reference to a declassified CIA report calling ISIS a strategic asset; laser-burned images from  Guantanamo Bay prison and – in the ultimate image of destruction created by destruction – a reworked set of Durer's apocalypse series about the Bible's revelations. 

Shown in exhibitionStrategic asset (newspaper, ash and newspaper gripper); Light em upCollateral Murder, Disasters of Terror (hood) and Revelations - laser pyrographics, vaporised stock listings on plywood 




Collective founded Berlin, 2001, live in Northwich, England

Somewhat paradoxically, the Cheshire-based German collective  Artists Anonymous have generated a strong ‘brand’ while doubly evading the orthodox expectation of the individual identified as a creative force. The essence of their work is that positive and negative are built into every aspect. That’s most obvious in their characteristic method of painting in the manner of a photographic negative, then photographing the result to make a positive image. But the positive / negative also runs through the themes: beauty and ugliness, innocence and corruption, horror and humour are conjoined. In a sense, that internal doubling and inversion as a route to the photographic positive builds the painting into the work as its own collateral. Yet the photographs from Artists Anonymous’ archive go back a further step to the stage sets, costumes and performances through which content and process combine to form the alternate world of Artists Anonymous – one in which the apparent underlying oppositions of the art world and popular culture, of convention and the avant-garde, of private and public are forced together to suggest that they’re not so distinct as many would like to think.

Shown in exhibitionGuard 1, oil and graphite on canvas; Guard 1, afterimage, 2009 with photo archive of images informing previous works



Born Hattingen, Germany,1977, lives in Berlin

Sinta Werner grew up in Karlsruhe, left at 18 for the artistic life in Berlin, and then studied in London before returning to Germany in 2007. She’s known for whole room installations which – like her collages here – work across sculpture and architecture. From one predetermined viewpoint they conjure perspectival illusions, for example a 3D construction appears to be 2D. From other points of view they dizzy and disorientate us, while exposing their means of construction. In her own words, Werner ‘uses the basic principles of geometry to build precise constructions’, but what results ‘is meant to be less logical and more dreamlike’.  Here she made one collage from her original photograph of Berlin’s Chapel of Reconciliation (consecrated in 2000, and replacing a church which lay between the inner and outer sections of The Wall before being destroyed by the East Germans in 1985). Werner then fed the left-over stripes into another collage, making the second work a collateral result of the first. Alternative reconstructions suggest the site’s history of shifting perspectives.

Shown in exhibitionProvisional Identity (Kapelle der Versöhnung) I  and Provisional Identity (Kapelle der Versöhnung) II, 2015 - collages



Born Kiel, Germany, 1981, lives in Berlin

Simon Mullan, originally from Vienna but now based in Berlin, has dealt with traditional expectations of masculine roles and power in performances such as having knives thrown at him or using a highly polluting car, and in works including framed razor blades and pseudo-minimalist constructions of bathroom tiles which exploit the skills he learned as a teenager in the building industry. Here he deconstructs the hard masculine power represented by the bomber jacket by removing the nylon covering and using it to make abstract collages closer to the traditionally female craft of quilting. The collateral is the ‘naked’ jackets which remain: Mullan has showed these before, but he doesn’t see them as art – so they’re not for sale, though he may loan them to be worn at art events by the recipients, who become ‘automatic members of the international Gang of Simon Mullan supporters’. He hopes he doesn’t get them back, but states if that the person once has the feeling that he or she cannot support the artist´s work anymore, the jacket has to be returned.

Shown in exhibitionBeat, 2015 – textile collage; Naked Bomber Jacket



Born London, 1968, lives in London

Absurdity is central to Luke Gottelier's work, in which - as Martin Herbert has put it - ‘the process of representation is tempered with affectionate ridicule’. Those thoughts fit with such dumb ideas as photographing studio detritus as if it were a panoramic landscape, sticking neckties onto paintings, aiming at the ugliest possible portrait, or torturing his own paintings. That last move has seen an earmarked set of 39 failed works from 2004-06 suffering such indignities as being suffocated in toxic gold paint, lit up with fireworks, turned into an ashtray or  being covered with catnip while a hoard of tabbies do their worst.  Here we have one of those: the collateral reject left behind from more successful work is given fresh life as a remote controlled model car... There’s action painting for you!  Gottelier’s bookmarks, with similar economy, recycle old drawings by cutting them out to form – as he says ‘double drawings in the Matisse sense of drawing with scissors as well as the drawing itself’.

See the car in action at the opening:

Shown in exhibition: Remote Control Painting, 2004-2013 - remote control car, painting;  Landscape, 1998 - colour photograph; Bookmarks - acrylic/watercolour/pencil on paper 



Born London, 1965, lives in London

If new to Claudia Carr’s work, your first question is likely to be: what is it, landscape, still life or abstraction? The answer, of course, is all three. What she actually paints from are the sort of items which, for the first time, can be seen alongside her painting here: twisted dried orange peel, broken coral, crumpled paper, bits of grit, kitchen sponges and bones… things picked up on the beach or roadside together with the collateral from time in the studio. We find ourselves interpreting these as monumentally-scaled forms in the ambiguous space of a horizonless landscape – even though they’re recognisably painted. Then we get lost in such abstract concerns as the subtle gradations of grey which remind us that it contains every colour. There’s actually some commonality with Luke Gottelier’s 1990s photographs of studio set-ups, yet the atmospheres evoked are utterly different: Carr has talked about her interests lying in 'the manipulation of chromatic and rhythmic structures', and it's the resulting optical tensions, and a particular concern with light, which generate the distinctive mood of her paintings.

Shown in exhibitionDriftDarshanEbb, 2015 - oil on canvas



Born Bautzen, Germany, 1962, lives in Berlin

Thoralf Knobloch trained in Dresden with such peers as Eberhard Havekost and Thomas Scheibitz, and is now based in Berlin. He works from his own photographs, most often taken on travels round the east of Germany and the USA.  Yet he's no photo-realist: while all painting may sit between abstraction and representation, that’s particularly explicit in Knobloch’s formalist way of combining objectively observed foreground objects with a more subjective background. Where Claudia Carr presents still life as landscape, you might say, Knobloch presents still life in the landscape, omitting any trace of the human activity which brought it there. That generates a stilled, aloof and somewhat filmic atmosphere somewhere between Edward Hopper and Paul Nash - as in the sharply shadowed interplay of the Dead Sea scene En Gedi, with its narrative hook of implying a preceding fall. Knobloch shows it with much of what was used in its creation.
Shown in exhibition: En Gedi, 2015 – oil on canvas



Born Epsom, Surrey, 1971, lives in London

Bella Easton’s 'Chiral' series of paintings are based on minute extracts from previous works of urban landscape. These are further fragmented by a hybrid technique of painting and printmaking: she repeats and mirrors the extracts by offsetting paint from one surface to another with an intaglio press. The photograph shows the polystyrene wall on which Easton pins the many individual pieces of linen or paper to be built up with layers of paint - you can see the grid marks left behind from the gaps between them.  Here she exhibits linen offcuts which hold discarded paint marks and bits of newsprint used to push the colour around, alongside the finished painting Chiral IV. That enacts a complex dance between architectural and natural, social and personal, pattern and image which sets the tradition of, say Samuel Palmer, into dialogue with modern concerns about our alienation from just those things – our ancient predecessors, land and sense of community - which mattered most to Palmer. A molecule is chiral, incidentally, if there's another molecule of identical composition, but arranged in a non-superposable mirror image configuration.

Shown in exhibition: Chiral IV, 2015 – oil on 50 pieces of linen



Artists Anonymous | Claudia Carr | Gordon Cheung | Bella Easton | Luke Gottelier  Thoralf Knobloch  |  Marta Marce  |  Simon Mullan  |  Mark Titchner | Sinta Werner

Curated by Bella Easton & Paul Carey-Kent
Artist Texts by Paul Carey-Kent

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About Me

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Southampton, Hampshire, United Kingdom
I was in my leisure time Editor at Large of Art World magazine (which ran 2007-09) and now write freelance for such as Art Monthly, Frieze, Photomonitor, Elephant and Border Crossings. I have curated 20 shows during 2013-17 with more on the way. Going back a bit my main writing background is poetry. My day job is public sector financial management.