Galerie Richard

Sven-Ole FRAHM - Back and Forth

Featured works

Press release

Galerie Richard Paris is delighted to present Sven-Ole Frahm’s sixth solo exhibition in Paris, Back and Forth, from May 22 to June 15, 2024. Jean-Luc and Takako Richard have represented this German artist since 2007. Sven-Ole Frahm is a painter who, from his earliest works, integrated the sewing machine as a major instrument in his pictorial creations. He continues to appropriate the techniques associated with canvas as fabric, sewing, cutting and perforating it, but now adding zippers. These become the central compositional element in his new works.

The use of zippers dates back to Barnett Newman, who called the vertical strips connecting the top and bottom of his paintings “zippers”. Sven-Ole Frahm explores all the possibilities of this new tool by sewing them straight, but also by folding and curving them, which increases their width and thus their relief in the painting, and of course by leaving them closed or partially open.
The zippers are usually sewn onto the canvas, but for some of them, he adds complexity by cutting the canvas into the shape of the zipper he will sew over it, leaving the inner dimension visible when he leaves the zipper open.

The entrance and first room are mostly small formats, ranging from a minimalist language to a more baroque profusion, depending on the number of elements involved. He multiplies compositions and color schemes with dexterity. In this room, the two large vertical paintings are reworkings of earlier works, made more complex by the addition of zippers.

The second room, which represents the artist’s most accomplished vision, is made up of large formats that create a tense physical atmosphere, inviting us to a concrete artistic experience that can only be had by observing the sometimes irridiscent colors, the different sizes of the zippers, the importance of the buttons as compositional points that in some works suffice to counterbalance and rebalance the positioning of the zippers.

Three paintings in the third room: Keine Ahnung Wie Das Passieren Konnte is a superimposition of three painted canvases on which Sven-Ole Frahm has drawn a play of lines with zips and perforated them with large circles, a work entitled Back and Force from 2017, a blue-green monochrome painted with fluid acrylic into which he has painstakingly cut six large circles.

Sven-Ole Frahm’s works are playful, exuberantly creative and at the same time perfectly thought-out, meticulously composed and crafted.

Sven-Ole Frahm, born in 1972, lives and works in Berlin. He graduated from the Kunst Akademie in Düsseldorf in 2001. Sven-Ole Frahm won Germany’s prestigious Bergischer Kunstpreis painting prize at the Solingen Art Museum in 2006. He took part in the Compilation III exhibition at the Kunsthalle Düsseldorf in 2007. His work is regularly shown in Paris, Berlin, Amsterdam, Düsseldorf and New York.

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