NOTHING, a book by London-based artist Frances Aviva Blane, has been published this week. A collection of drawings and paintings – mostly new work which has never been shown before – Nothing has an introductory essay by author Diana Souhami.
Blane is an abstract artist who works in the Expressionist tradition. Her work is currently on show in the Jerwood Drawing Prize 2015 and whose drawings were shown last year alongside work by Louise Bourgeois and Francis Bacon in a show entitled Deconstruct at De Queeste Kunstkamers art gallery in Belgium.
Nothing is an assortment of new paintings and drawings mainly made this year by Blane. The book, which is produced to a very high specification, opens flat and also include details of the work. The majority of the work included in Nothing has never been exhibited or published before, apart from a couple of the drawings which were shown in Deconstruct last year.
“The book ‘nothing’ is important to me because it’s the first time I have documentation of a group of small paintings. Usually my work is large and gestural. However in small canvases the marks must be more contained, expressing compressed energy,” Blane says.
“I wanted someone who was not in the art world to write about this because their view would be refreshingly different to those of an art critic. Famous biographer Diana Souhami was open and direct in her approach – no art speak.
“Instead she writes the works ‘disconcert’, the heads are of ‘barely discernible form’ and have ‘expression or no expression’. Wonderfully economic descriptions.
“Having my thoughts in quotes, placed next to the images (which was Diana’s idea) gives a clue to future directions,” Blane continues.
“Memories of the making, and discoveries I made in the process, enable me to disregard preconceptions and press on. What the hell.”
by Jane Dale