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Embassy, New Book by Frances Aviva Blane Published

THE LONDON-based artist, Frances Aviva Blane has just published Embassy, her second book which follows the success of Two Faces, an exhibition at the German Ambassador’s Residence in London in which a large selection of her paintings and drawings were included this year. As well as work from the show, the book includes an essay by the leading British artist and printmaker, Tess Jaray about Blane’s work.

Frances Aviva Blane, Embassy, book, artist, abstract expressionistFail. Oil/linen, 90 x 90 cm, Courtesy of Frances Aviva Blane

In her foreward to the book, Jaray describes Blane’s emotive gestures as “painting straight from the heart to the canvas”. Blane draws and paints with alacrity but her work is not random but thoughtfully planned and, as the artist explains, “hard to make”.

Frances Aviva Blane, Embassy, book, artist, abstract expressionistHimmler Court. Acrylic/Charcoal/Khadi, 47 x 47 cm. Courtesy of Frances Aviva Blane

Blane exploits the theatrics of vivid colour as it hits the canvas with her innovative use of paint. Sometimes pink wells up in a rush of emotion and simmers under mascara streaked tears. Yellow gets spiked with black and mingles with wet globs from the tube. Blane also enjoys the limitation of working in one colour, as her big black oils demonstrate. In these, she rips, gouges and scrapes the surface until it seethes like hot tar but in others, she thins the paint to a watery drizzle like rain from heavy dark skies.


Frances Aviva Blane, Embassy, book, artist, abstract expressionistSky, [Detail]. Oil/linen, 60 x 60 cm. Courtesy of Frances Aviva Blane

An abstract expressionist artist, Blane works in an unusual way as she also draws figuratively. In these large canvases, the scrawled personalities of Blane’s heads become metaphors in paint as it breaks up. She welcomes the element of surprise as the paint drips and is allowed to take its own course. The effects of these marks can be disturbing, confrontational or plain hectic but some seem otherworldly as they deconstruct, fall and float free.

Frances Aviva Blane, Embassy, book, artist, abstract expressionistDerail. Oil/linen, 198 x 198 cm. Courtesy of Frances Aviva Blane

Frances Aviva Blane, Embassy, book, artist, abstract expressionistFebruary, [Detail]. Oil/linen, 90 x 90, Courtesy of Frances Aviva Blane

Blane is represented by the De Queeste Kunstkamers art gallery in Belgium where her drawings have been exhibited alongside work by Francis Bacon and Louise Bourgeois. Recently, her work was selected by film-maker Jordan Baseman and will be on show at Creekside Open later this year.

by Miranda Charalambous

Front page image: Heart, Oil/linen, 60 x 60 cm. Courtesy of Frances Aviva Blane











Nothing: Latest Book by Artist Frances Aviva Blane Published

FAB USEBazooka (oil/linen, 60cm x 60cm, 2015) by Frances Aviva Blane included in Nothing

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.

FAB book frontFront cover of Nothing by Frances Aviva Blane

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.

work on paper, 15 x 21 cm.Black (Acrylic/khadi 15cm x 21cm, 2015) by Frances Aviva Blane

“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.

Interior (acrylic/linen, 60cm x 60cm, 2015) by Frances Aviva Blane

“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

Nothing (Starmount Publishing), retails at £50. It is available by emailing: or