CFHILL – Jeremy Lawson – AGOG – September 2 to 30, 2022 – Västra Trädgårdsgatan 9 – Open Tue. to Fri. 12-17.00, Sat. 12-16.00, Sun. closed
ABOUT the artist
Jeremy Lawson (born 1980, Warren, Pennsylvania) has recently been exhibited at Harpers, New York (2022) CFHILL, Stockholm (2022); Hauser & Wirth, New York (2021); studio e gallery, Seattle (2021); and Kristen Lorello, New York (2019). He currently lives and works in New York City.
After working as a conceptual artist for several years, Pennsylvanian born artist Jeremy Lawson found himself drawn to the more intuitive practice of painting. While getting his Master of Fine Arts degree at Hunter College in New York, Lawson developed a time-consuming technique in which he practices a kind of behaviour as much as a craft. By allowing mistakes and failures, tearing down and reworking the paintings, he strives to surrender to the artwork.
CFHILL is proud to present AGOG, Jeremy Lawson’s first solo exhibition outside of the US. The abstract paintings shown in this new exhibition space consists of several layers built up over time. Drawn to the idea of ugliness and counterintuition as necessary components of the sublime, Lawson experiments with colours that clash and compositions that remain perpetually off balance. Foregoing the use of brushes and only using his hands or palette paper to work the paint into the canvas, the works have a rough, smudged surface through which the labour of the practice shines through.
— Introduction to Jeremy Lawson AGOG. September 2, 2022.
ABOUT the exhibition
Interview by Lisa Carlsson
In his studio in the south Bronx, Jeremy Lawson works on several paintings at once. Sometimes covering them up for a while to pause before returning to them. This is part of a way of working that he developed in which he practices a behaviour as well as a craft, to let go of control and allowing for the painting to reveal itself.
The paintings shown at CFHILL are all made almost simultaneously, why is this an important part of your practice?
It provides distance and allows me to stay on edge. I want to be surprised by where I end up. I think I’ve embraced this style of working that tries to maintain a homeostatic relationship between myself and the painting, where it’s always slightly out of my own control, but that with sustained attention it bends towards a subconscious composition logic that I’ll eventually recognise. If I feel my hand becoming overly dominant, I must break the composition and rework it. Occasionally this occurs with some grace, but often it is a struggle which takes months.
I need to spend time with my paintings to become comfortable with the decisions I’ve made and ready myself up to possibly destroy and rebuild them. I must allow room for failure and let myself screw things up. There are underlying themes of power and control inherent in those types of decisions more broadly paintings this way is a more indirect way of speaking to them without being didactic. Rather than making work as a form of commentary, I’m practicing, through painting, how to behave in the world, to be more generous, patient and brave. The changes are hopefully happening to me so the paintings can just be free.
The paintings exhibited at CFHILL have an almost transcendent quality to them, is that something you reflect on while working?
In a way, yes. In painting there’s always a relationship to eternity. A connection to the past and the future simultaneously, to everyone who’s ever painted and everyone who ever will. Something happens when a painting works, it’s impossible to describe, it’s almost alchemical.
What does AGOG, the title of the exhibition, mean?
The titles are as intuitive as the gestures in the work, often coming from fiction that I’m reading at the time and that feels analogous to the mood of the piece. AGOG though, both a title of a painting and the show itself, speaks to my excitement to see whatever it is I’m looking for; that after exhaustively sustaining my attention for however long it lasts, I almost can’t believe it, there it is. The sound of the word itself is as blunt as a slap.
Working in an abstract way, how do you relate to the abstract tradition?The heroic mythology of abstraction, especially in America, was used to project the supremacy of the individual during the Cold War, in opposition to communism and social realism. It was ideological and centred on the ego, so the narrative is different. My work, at least as it’s being produced feels more like an act of supplication. My ego is irrelevant. I’m opening myself outward towards the world instead of making myself the centre of it.
This is your first time showing your work in Sweden, what’s your relation to Swedish art?There’s a familiar language and temperament both visually and politically with the COBRA movement in the late 40’s to 1951, particularly someone like Asger Jorn. Unfortunately, I wasn’t super aware of a lot of Swedish artists until recently but have been staring at Siri Derkert works the last several days and can’t get enough. I’m planning to go see the subway drawings this week, I can’t wait!
ABOUT the gallery
CFHILL is an international art space and art advisory in central Stockholm, situated in a 17th century palace. Since its inception in 2015, CFHILL has presented over fifty exhibitions across a vast range of artists including; Hilma af Klint, Sheila Hicks, Sonia Delaunay, Yayoi Kusama, Donna Huanca, Jean Dubuffet, Carsten Höller, Carl Larsson, Olafur Eliasson,Anders Zorn, Lucio Fontana, Keith Haring, Roy Lichtenstein, Niki de Saint Phalle, Jonathan Lyndon Chase, Vilhelm Hammershöi, Andy Warhol, Aaron Garber Maikovska, Ryan McGinley, Annie Morris, Yayoi Kusama, Donna Huanca & Amoako Boafo.
CFHILL operates as an independent and open source in a global network of artists, curators, galleries and collectors, with the ambition to create a dialogue across generations of artists. Previous exhibitions that have been curated by CFHILL or in collaboration with; Melanie Lum (US/China), Francesca Gavin (UK), Sandra Weil (Tel Aviv), Rick Herron (US), Sophie Mörner (US), Javier Peres (Berlin), Destinee Ross-Sutton (New York) and revolved around themes such as gender, sexuality, politics and race.
CFHILL’s leading independent art advisory, is active across the entire spectrum of the global art market. Our Art Advisory team help guide our clients through the global art market by combining art-historical knowledge with market intelligence and commercial expertise. We have created numerous art collections for private collectors as well as for corporations and institutions. The SEB art collection is an example of this, which holds one of the most extensive corporate collections of Nordic art.
CFHILL’s private sales team provides personal and confidential advisory, executed with substantial market knowledge to Scandinavian and international clients. The private sales team has previously placed works by Pablo Picasso, Henri Matisse, Fernand Léger, Ed Ruscha, Imi Knoebel, Richard Artschwager, Robert Mangold, Kenneth Noland, John Chamberlain, Konrad Klapheck, Sam Francis & Andy Warhol among others.
CFHILL’s flagship art space is located on Västra Trädgårdsgatan 9 in the heart of Stockholm, where the art is presented over two floors in five different galleries. During 2020 CFHILL had a pop-up art space on Malmskillnadsgatan 38B, where artists across generations were highlighted through innovative exhibition initiatives.
CFHILL was founded and led by Michael Storåkers, Executive Chairman and Head of Contemporary, Anna-Karin Pusic, CEO and Head of Specialists and Michael Elmenbeck Creative Director and Head of Exhibitions.