Travelling Light


Centre for Recent Drawing is pleased to present works by Isabel Albrecht, Claude Heath, Emma McNally, Thomas Müller, Kazuki Nakahara and Frances Richardson; selected by Kazuki Nakahara as artists who work or have exhibited in London and whose work may stimulate a dialogue on the use of line and light.

Kazuki, originally from Japan, studied his MFA under Hanns Schimansky in Berlin, where he now lives. He is also a trainee of the POLA art foundation for Overseas Study Program for Artists. Kazuki has been resident at C4RD for four months as part of the Hatley Residency, and his work on exhibition is that which he has developed here in London.

Please join us for the reception and viewing of the work 6 - 8pm Wednesday 12 March 2014, or during normal opening times 13 March - 12 April 2014 from 1 - 6pm Thursdays to Saturdays, at 2 - 4 Highbury Station Road, Highbury Islington N1 1SB, London. C4RD is a Registered UK Charity 1123530, and would particularly like to acknowledge the support for this exhibition of the Dovehouse Trust and the Hatley Residency, Patrick Heide Contemporary Art and Trinity Contemporary. Kazuki Nakahara is represented by Galerie Inga Kondeyne (Berlin).


“How does the emotional complexity of a memory visually translate into an infinite succession of lines? The proximity of Kazuki Nakahara’s artwork to the Japanese calligraphic art Sho, doesn’t reside solely in the fact that he comes from a family of established calligraphers. As Sho goes further than mere ornamental function – being firstly a practice directed to both the acceptance and expression of life through the conscious use of the graphic sign – Nakahara’s artwork is far from being the result of mere aesthetic abstraction. His drawings are rather the patient reinterpretation of impressions, sensations and even images that have crystallised into memory.

The ring-like structure of Travelling Light comes, for example, from the observation of a perfectly quotidian situation: white seagulls resting on a shadowy road embedded in the artist’s memory as empty circles in an assiduous yet vibrant continuum of lines, moving points of light over the dark urban fabric of the city.

Hovering Over the Four Corners is a succession of interruptions, gaps and omissions that freely scatter in what looks like an eccentric, erratic grid-like pattern. Yet the apparent randomness of these gaps and incoherences does not impede the emergence of a greater composition, which at distance reveals an underlying flux - almost a river seen from above – that flows around four empty circles working as centres of gravity.

This equilibrium between freedom and rules again reminds one of Japanese calligraphy. In Sho, the ceaseless repetition of the same lines over identical motor gestures is not only used as a means to perfect aesthetic results. Rather, full control of the line will ensure that every brush trait is a vehicle for a particular expression or state of mind. Sitting between free individual expression and the doctrine of gesture, Kazuki Nakahara treats voids and lines, lights and shadows as the necessary parts of a whole, where the latter (along with its potential meaning) is nothing but the serene and playful crystallization of a never-ending tension of feelings and their contradictions.

Following Nakahara’s residency at the Centre for Recent Drawing, Travelling Light brings together the work of five other artists whom he admires, encouraging a dialogue to evolve around the use of line and light.

In contrast to Nakahara’s unity between the sensory and visual experience, Head by Claude Heath – which is part of a series that the artist created whilst blindfolded – negates vision, representing what is felt rather than what is seen. It is apparent, however, that both artists employ here a tension between a given rule and the freedom and unpredictability of gesture. Frances Richardson’s drawing (170406) is produced entirely through the systematic use of minus and plus signs. These signs, which represent a distinctive process in her drawing practice, “suggest the idea of magnetic forces, balance, electrical pulse and infinity”. They are “a pulse that tends towards nothing and everything”. In fact, even absence here plays a founding role, not only as it concurs in shaping the whole figure, but also because it suggests how the real referent is somewhere between the figure and the void itself. In Emma McNally’s drawing (S6), lines and dots appear to indicate some sort of unspoken function. Where Nakahara’s approach tries to domesticate the process of mark-making, here in McNally’s work, the impression is that these signs become the momentary radiography of a never-ending interaction of scattering humming forces.

The theme of repetition is a very important component in Thomas Müller’s production. In Untitled (PH 222), the artist creates a dense stream of lines following the rotating edge of a piece of glass placed on paper. As he states, “it’s paradoxically repetition that allows, even guarantees changing, mutation of forms and structures”. Isabel Albrecht’s work (Lines and Forms; 2e 2011) brings the processes of repetition and graduation together in a formal structure that attracted Nakahara for its systematic use of colours and light. These elements encounter here their most rigorous realisation, yet they don’t impede the emergence of a space that also considers unexpected visual incidents: that is to say, the space of drawing.” - Tommaso Gorla    

Centre for Recent Drawing

2-4 Highbury Station Rd LONDON N1 1SB  Charity No.1123530  Thu-Sat 1-6pm


Current Exhibition: travelling light

Centre for Recent Drawing

2-4 Highbury Station Rd LONDON N1 1SB  Charity No.1123530  Thu-Sat 1-6pm

travelling light

12.03.14 - 12.04.14

Opening reception 12.03.14 6-8pm

    Isabel Albrecht

Claude Heath                        

    Emma McNally

Thomas Müller 

    Kazuki Nakahara

Frances Richardson