Blain|Southern London presents Heavens and the Earth, an exhibition of new paintings by Bosco Sodi that demonstrates the artist’s ongoing exploration of transformative processes.
Sodi (b.1970 Mexico City, MX) is predominantly known for his roughly-textured relief paintings. In this new series he brings together two contrasting colours in the same composition for the first time, in reference to universal notions of opposing forces. The paintings combine pure black and white pigments with glue and organic material, such as sawdust or natural fibres. Calling to mind geographical features, they are formed as a result of environmental conditions over time. The exhibition takes its title from The Book of Genesis and in the accompanying catalogue Dr Aaron Rosen explains that ‘As much as (Sodi) is fascinated by the factors which contribute to change, his deeper questions revolve around the very nature and necessity of creation… To apprehend the significance of this act, Sodi is no longer content to delve into the earth’s prehistory. His most recent works seek to dig beneath time, to the moment of genesis itself.’
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Sodi’s reverence for raw materials and natural processes draws from wabi-sabi, a Japanese aesthetic philosophy that embraces imperfection and reveres natural authenticity above all. The paintings are the outcome of an intensively physical process in which experimentation and chance play an important role. Laying the canvas horizontally, Sodi sculpturally layers his paint mixture, by hand over several days, stopping at the first signs of cracking. He then gives the process over to time and the elements, as the work dries and fissures form across its surface.
With studios in Mexico, New York and Barcelona, Sodi’s paintings are site-specific in that the external conditions of each location – weather, temperature, humidity – all determine how the work ultimately looks. This organic process is central to Sodi’s philosophy, ‘It’s about embracing the accident, embracing the non- control, embracing the passing of time and working with organic materials.’
The catalogue that accompanies the exhibition is published as a limited edition of 500 copies with 12 silkscreen cover variations, all signed by the artist.
Sodi is the founder of Fundación Casa Wabi, a foundation that takes its name and guiding principles from wabi-sabi, supporting fellow artists and developing new opportunities for art education in Mexico. Running concurrent to Heavens and the Earth, Sodi co-curates an exhibition at Blain|Southern alongside Casa Wabi’s former chief curator, Alberto Ríos. Featuring 9 contemporary abstract artists from Mexico, many of whom have undertaken residencies at Casa Wabi, Approaching Abstraction takes place on the lower ground floor at 4 Hanover Square and includes works by: Tania Candiani, Tomás Diaz Cedeño, Galia Eibenshutz, Cristobal Gracia, Isauro Huizar, Daniela Libertad, Fabiola Menchelli, Francisco Muñoz and Benjamín Torres.
Bosco Sodi was born in Mexico City in 1970. His works are in significant public and private collections including JUMEX Collection, México; Vitra Museum, Basel, CH; Deutsche Bank Collection, New York, US; IBM Building, New York, US; Murderme, London, UK; The Museum of Modern Art, Gunma, JP; Nasher Sculpture Center, Texas, US and the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art, Connecticut, US. Alongside his artistic practice, Sodi is also the founder of Fundación Casa Wabi, an art centre in Oaxaca, Mexico dedicated to promoting the exchange of ideas between international artists of different disciplines. Designed by Japanese architect Tadao Ando, the foundation also develops opportunities for art education with local communities.Courtesy the artist and Blain|Southern. Photo Peter Mallet