Sven-Ole Frahm

Press Release

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Sven-Ole FRAHM           A Hole in the Wall is Nothing to Worry About - Part II              September 7 - Octobr 19, 2013



Galerie Richard New York is pleased to present Sven-Ole Frahm’s first exhibition in Paris from September 7th through October 19th, 2013. Following his successful solo exhibition at Galerie Richard New York this Summer, his exhibition in Paris is its second part. Galerie Richard Paris has been representing this German artist since 2007. The artist develops a new role for the canvas by using the material itself to replace the pictorial paint gesture. That allows him to bring the third dimension in painting. His works are distinctive by the quality of their compositions, which allow him to experiment with new expressive ways. 



The title “A Hole in the Wall is Nothing to Worry About” expresses the idea that the artist’s practice is one of experimenting and risk taking. Engaging oneself and playing with the unexpected, are part of his creative process. In his first paintings, he poured highly viscous acrylic paint on canvas laid out on the ground. The medium spread freely along the uneven surface of the ground, and was guided by the artist who manipulated the flow of paint.  Frahm destroyed the resulting two-color painting by cutting it up into geometric sections, and then assembled the pieces by sewing them back together. We are faced with a destruction-creation process, which was advocated by the economist Joseph Schumpeter, and with a deconstructive process, expressed by philosopher Jacques Derrida.



In the newly exhibited works, we don't find so many painterly marks which define forms. Each section is painted in one color uniformly applied without depth. Th artist manipulates the linen as a creative tool which substitutes to paint. Unlike the French artist's group Support-Surface, Frahm does not separate the canvas linen from the stretcher, maintaining the painting's integrity.



The geometrical forms are made by sewn painted linen; a few linen additions are sewn only on the superior border, letting the gravity stand out. The sewing lines appear as drawings due to the discretion of their presence. In these new paintings, he cuts the linen in a U shape creating linen bands of the same color which get loose naturally. He also cuts the painting creating geometrical holes which depending on their position allow the viewer to see the stretcher. Conversely, he develops the physical third dimension by the creation of pyramidal forms made of sewn triangles. For the first time, we shall discover in the Parisian exhibition several pierced paintings which he transforms the canvas into a tube-like shape. One exhibited painting, which remains devoid of paint, is pierced by a single circle. This round space is encircled by several bands of sewn painted linen, forming a colored impressive sculptural pipe. You view the work with a perpendicular look at the frame. With these works, Frahm incites us to enjoy his paintings in a new experimental way.




The materiality and the sensuality of the raw canvas, the delicacy of sewing, the visible loose threads, and the third dimension in painting, oppose to a minimal aesthetic more inclined to engender a platonic abstract pleasure. By manipulating several techniques on the same work he also coincides opposing aesthetic orders. Besides he allies the microcosm: if the viewer delights in details, such as the colored reflections around the holes, which result from paint applied to the back of the canvas, the look always returns towards the holistic view which justifies every element. Every painting can be analyzed as a mastered superimposed layers of compositions.





Sven-Ole Frahm (1972) lives and works in Berlin, Germany.  He graduated from the Art Academy in Dusseldorf in 2001. Frahm has won the prestigious German prize for painting, the ‘Bergischer Kunstpreis’ at Solingen Art Museum in 2006. He took part in the exhibition Compilation III at the Kunsthalle in Düsseldorf in 2007. His work has been exhibited in galleries throughout Europe including Düsseldorf, Berlin, Amsterdam and Paris.