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Ever since we returned from NYC in June last year, Paul‘s been hard at work preparing for his show Tone, opening this Thursday at the newly re-dubbed Stevenson Gallery (previously Michael Stevenson).

I never use that word ‘humbling’, as I’m not really sure what people mean by it, but I kind of feel like using it when I describe my husband’s work and his work process, because it’s amazing to me that this normal bloke I live with has these vast capacities at his disposal that I don’t really understand at all. Whereas I find my a great deal of my motivation in all the encouragement I get from my blog, shops, and the general healthy state of my business, Paul is one of those rare humans who is able to simply work because that is what he does. It’s not about deadlines or expectations or financial reward, but just about the work. And the work is beautiful.

I never say ‘respect’ either, but I’m saying it now.

Pitch – linocut

For Tone, Paul’s been working with the idea of music elements and relationships, and this is what he says about it:

“From elements which are often non-narrative, mostly repetitive and largely abstract, we extract or assemble meaningful experience. In a series of pencil drawings, a linocut and two sculptures, using only line and its sculptural analogue, edge, I explore visual and metaphorical correspondents for music and sound, and their constituent parts.
Like music, the works reward and thwart expectations, as overlaid lines and stacked edges produce tone, timbre, volume and contrast. The works and their various elements evince attack and decay, echo and reverberation, harmony and dissonance.”

Working within this framework, he’s produced three series of intensely time-consuming and carefully-made pencil drawings, called Tone, Pitch and Field, as well as a large format linocut (above) and two sculptures. See all the work at the Stevenson website.

From the Tone series

From the Pitch series

 

From the Field series

Visit Paul Edmunds’ website to see more of his work, and the Stevenson website for more about this show.

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Last week Thursday really should have been spent in NYC, sipping warm wine at a MoMA opening, trying not to look too awfully thrilled to bits at the fact that my bloke currently has one of his works gracing the walls of said illustrious institution. Paul’s large format linocut The Same, But Different (below) is part of the Impressions from South Africa, 1965 to now exhibition, curated by Judith B. Hecker.

The show is on in the Paul J. Sachs Prints and Illustrated Books Galleries until 14 August, along with prints by other SA artists, such as Bitterkomix, Kudzanai Chiurai, Sandile Goje, William Kentridge, Senzeni Marasela, John Muafangejo, Claudette Schreuders and Sue Williamson.

Read a review of the show in ArtDaily here. Aw heck, this doesn’t happen every day, so I’m just going to go ahead and quote the bit where they mention my bloke:

The final theme of the exhibition encompasses postapartheid works in various techniques and formats. Installed throughout all the sections of the exhibition, and shown in concentration in the last gallery, many of these works revitalize earlier techniques or use them as a point of conceptual departure. One such development has been with the linocut, as artists new to the medium experiment with its graphic potential in unconventional ways, as seen in sculptor Paul Edmunds’s first linocut The same but different (2001), a single uninterrupted bright red line that undulates across a sheet of paper six feet high. The work’s pulsating composition, which emphasizes method rather than narrative, is a hypnotic meditation on the physical, time-based process of incising.

We’ll be in NYC in September again, for Paul’s upcoming solo show at RH Gallery.

My studio tends to be a bit mile-a-minute, with emails coming in, parcels going out, fabric being cut, meetings being held – it’s all a bit mad, most of the time. Paul‘s, on the other hand, is a quiet space, where the soft whirr and crush of a pencil sharpener is just about all there is to hear.

He’s preparing for a new solo show on 18 April, and the pic below shows what he’s using to make the pencil drawings he’ll be showing at Michael Stevenson Contemporary on 18 April. Click here for a preview and press release, and click here to see more of my clever husband’s work.

Paul Edmunds, husband o’ mine, won’t be sitting in his studio chair enjoying the winter sunshine this week, cos he set off for New York yesterday, the lucky bum!

Go say hi to Paul on Saturday, when the show at RH Gallery opens. It’s at 137 Duane Street, TriBeCa, between West Broadway and Church.

Medina has had this beautifully illustrated book in the studio all week. The illustrator is Henry R Martin, and I love the effect to which he puts just three colours, along with the white space of the page, and also the way he frames his illustrations. Most inspiring, Mr Martin!

If you live in New York City and would like to see some of Paul‘s work in the flesh, diarise 6pm, 25 September to visit RH Gallery at 137 Duane Street in Tribeca.

It’s this gallery’s inaugural show, and Paul will have four works on show. He’ll be at the opening too, lucky thing!

Paul Edmunds 'Solid' Linocut on paper 48" x 60" (edition of 12)

I think I’ve developed a bit of a girl crush on UK singer Gemma Ray since we saw her playing at a woefully ill-attended gig at the Purple Turtle on Saturday night.

I loved the way that the stage was decorated with flowers, and she wore the cutest vintage dress and shoes, but she didn’t act the least bit cute at all. She just did her thing with stylish reserve, apparently not requiring the approval of the audience at all. Refreshing stuff from a female performer, I have to say, and especially when MTV on the pub TV simultaneously played videos of gyrating near-naked female ‘artists’ throughout.

Evidence of my girl crush abundantly obvious in the fact that I’ve been drawing Gemma Ray instead of doing my taxes today.

I spotted this image by Bernard Buffet in a World of Interiors yesterday, and then put in a tiny bit of effort to find out more about this artist.My skim of the Wikipedia page and Musee Bernard Buffet page told me that Buffet was a painter in Paris from the mid 1940s, and he died in 1999. He exhibited frequently, and had his first retrospective show at the age of 30. He died of suicide after getting Parkinsons disease that stopped him from working.

While I looked through the Google image search of his work, I found myself strongly attracted to the colours and lines that Buffet used in his interiors and still lives, but somewhat repelled by his paintings of clowns,  and crucified Christs, which seemed a bit cartoony, stiff and (sorry Bernard) kitsch. Although he uses the same kinds of colours and lines for both, they seem to work more successfully in the depiction of inanimate objects.

Visit the Musee Bernard Buffet website for a more erudite and forgiving approach to this painter’s work.

After cycling a bit in New York, I’ve felt quite downhearted about just how tiny the bicycle culture is in South Africa. But I just heard something that’s given me a lot of hope for what’s possible back home: Avid cyclists and excellent photographers Stan Engelbrecht and Nic Grobler are travelling all over South Africa, finding cyclists to photograph and interview for their Bicycle Portraits project.

Stan and Nic are wanting to turn their portraits into a full colour book, so while they’re collecting the images and interviews – largely from the saddles of their own bikes – they’re also raising money to make the book (mock-up below) a reality.

Watch the video (complete with Papa Was a Rolling Stone in Zulu), and then go donate some money. They’re accepting anything from $1 upwards.

I love the spirit of this project, the stories they’ve collected so far (to read the stories, click on each portrait on the site), and the photos are just beautiful too. As far as I can see, this project isn’t just about bicycles and people, but also about the diversity of South African life and what is possible for us.

New photo in the house
Just got this back from the framers. It’s by our friend Dave Southwood, who takes very nice photos.

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