THE DARK SIDE / THE BRIGHT SIDE
Davide Balliano & Johnny Abrahams
Bjorn & Gundorph Gallery is delighted to present, “The Dark Side / The Bright Side”, a duo exhibition featuring New York-based artists Davide Balliano (Italian, born in Turin, Italy, 1983 ) and Johnny Abrahams ( American, born in Tacoma ) 1979 ).
Using geometry as a tool of translation, their paintings take their form through a process defined by structure, reduction, and repetition. Both artists are referring to the 60’ies Op-Art and Hard-Edge minimalists who challenged the role of illusion in art. Op artists developed visual effects that called attention to the distortions at play. Challenging that uniform of repetition, Balliano and Abrahams rely their expression upon the mechanics of the spectators’ eye to wrap their compositions into shimmering and shifting displays of line, form, and materials.
The exhibition is built on abstract, optical geometries, minimalism and Neo- a hard edge in a strong dialogue with architecture investigating existential themes and the relationship between the individual and the macrocosm. The majority of their paintings feature Balliano’s fine-balanced black lines, varying in scale and size or as in Abraham’s works, large–scale sculptural forms, that construct confined visualizations, almost reminiscent of a labyrinth or the monumental sublime. Balliano is significantly celebrated for his minimalistic works in which he demonstrates his allegoric concerns about the universe and the human nature expressed in his geometric koans in a way, that gives each of his paintings a luminary sense or elevates the spectator to a meditative state of mind. The decay of civilization and disbelief in religion, the artist believes in the potential of observation of his art is meant to cultivate the instinct of desire for comprehending the austere and technological society we live in. It is in this trust, that art represents a vector of elevation or alternative life philosophy with respect to the failures of civilization and its evolution. The practice of the artist acts, in fact, precisely where society cannot act – to create and find harmony, coexistence, juxtaposition and fertile and meaningful life.
Drawing references from architecture and geometrical abstraction, Johnny Abrahams’ allegoric vocabulary unveils an aesthetic equilibrium and meditative vocabulary. He is opening doors and letting in healing light, offering the viewer a new beginning or new solutions presenting to us these slow, still almost totemic forms finding the perfect balance and rhythm between their modernist simplicity and a subtle investigation of the perception of light and composition. Abrahams is exploring the vast ontological realm between line, negative space, and architecture possessing a remarkable quietude.