EXHIBITION / THE MAGIC NUMBER
Tenors. Graces. De La Soul… some of the best things come in threes. It gives us great pleasure to present a selection of colourful print triptychs in The Magic Number – our new exhibition at Buhler and Co.
Our debut exhibition at Walthamstow's Buhler and Co (Side by Side), focused on pairs, while our new show focuses on trios. Our next exhibition, part of this year's E17 Art Trail, is called Fractions. Hmmmm... While some of our artists explore the creative potential of geometry, others create systems as a starting point for their prints, while others create painstakingly perfect tessellations. So perhaps it's natural for us to celebrate the art of mathematics. And after all, from medieval altarpieces to the unnerving triads of Francis Bacon, artists have been exploring the power of three for centuries.
Charlie Patterson's 'Fruit Study' prints on display at Buhler and Co
The Magic Number features print triptychs by a selection of artists from our fantastic roster, including Yann Brien, Bonnie Craig, William Luz. Josie Blue Molloy, Charlie Oscar Patterson, and Supermundane. Despite the common ground, there's a rich variety of work on show – from crisp, graphic Indigo digital prints with crisp forms, to beautifully textured silkscreen prints inspired by Brutalist architecture. All the prints in the exhibition are from limited editions made exclusively for Look Up, and they're all available to buy (unframed) from our site, with prices ranging from £50 to £250. Before you head down to Buhler and Co, here's a taster of what you can expect to see.
'Fruit Study 3' by Charlie Patterson / A3 Indigo digital print, edition of 20, £50
On arrival, take some time to check out the first two triptychs in the show. First, Charlie Oscar Patterson's Fruit Study series – a series of three tropical Indigo digital prints:. With a creative practice encompassing printmaking, painting, t-shirts and huge, site-specific murals, Charlie's desire to create is compulsive. He recently went freelance, leaving a full-time job at a design studio so he can focus fully on his goals. He's off to a flyer too, having created in-store murals for The Conran Shop (both in London and Paris) and a collaboration with interior design duo Bear René. His work radiates a fondness for geometric pattern, illusion, and (like his wardrobe) bold colours. It's a combination that works to great effect in his Fruit Study prints, with their playful compositions and lively, tropical hues.
'Common Chord 2' by Bonnie Craig / silkscreen print, edition of 8, 27 x 27cm, £95
Next, you'll find the work of Bonnie Craig – a visual artist and designer whose practice encompasses pattern, printmaking and site-specific installations. Originally from Brighton, she is now based in Lancaster, having made the trip north to study. Bonnie's Common Chord series reflects a love of both systems-based art and music – the rhythmic compositions have an undeniable musicality. I often describe this series as a piece of music. The piece begins with a gentle, swinging rhythm with Common Chord 1. Things start to build during the next movement, Common Chord 2, with its yellow shapes introducing short, sunshine-like fanfares into the rhythmic polyphony. And with Common Chord 3 the music reaches a crescendo of sorts, as the rhythm picks up and the fanfares become more animated and celebratory...
Prints by William Luz (left) and Supermundane (right) on display at Buhler and Co
The exhibition continues in the summer house – a short walk through the back door of the cafe, up the steps and to the rear of Buhler and Co's delightful al fresco space. Upon entering the summer house, turn to your left and you'll find the work of William Luz – the artist formerly known as William Edmond. A printmaker, designer, sculptor, publisher, writer, musician, and ceramicist, Will is one third of creative collective Nous Vous and half of dynamic silkscreen duo Touching Elbows (with Kate Gibb). It's fair to say that he’s a bit of a renaissance man. Will's Triomphe prints are an experiment in reducing the forms of a classical Nicolas Poussin painting into simple, two colour paper stencil silkscreen prints. Created with the help of French printmaker Anaick Moriceau, it's a beautifully understated trio of prints with a warm, human tone achieved partly by the hand-cut paper stencils, but also by Will's choice of colours.
'Folded Universe 3' by Supermundane / A3 Indigo digital print, edition of 20, £50
Folded into the corner of the summer house – rather appropriately – is another series of A3 Indigio digital prints, this time by Rob Lowe, AKA the mighty Supermundane. Rob's pseudonym translates roughly as 'above the world'; we think it's the ideal moniker for an artist who continues to lift our spirits across a broad spectrum of work, from prints, paintings and murals, to sculpture, t-shirts, typefaces, self-published books and more. His Folded Universe prints reflect a fascination with geometry, line and colour, not to mention a mischievous penchant for optical trickery…
'Swoosh 2' by Josie Molloy / 6-colour silkscreen print, edition of 10, £125
Having completed a prestigious Printmaking Fellowship at the Royal Academy Schools last summer, Josie Molloy is something of a rising star. A print technician at the London College of Communications (LCC), she also runs her own pop-up screenprinting workshop, Screengrab London. Josie’s work explores colour, texture, light and architectural form, contributing to an evolving body of work that is unpredictable, playful, and uplifting. Her Swoosh silkscreen prints showcase a flair for process, unexpected colour combinations and layered compositions, in which she blends bold shapes and clear lines with more textural elements. The brush marks are a reminder that while her compositions may be abstract and architectural, she likes to introduce human, expressive elements – exploring the process of silkscreen printing and its creative potential to the full.
Detail of Yann Brien's 'Insight' (silkscreen print, edition of 25, 80 x 60cm, £250)
The Magic Number closes with Paris-born, London-based artist Yann Brien. He describes his work as "an ongoing investigation of the impact our limited and often biased perception of the world has on the choices we make." Despite the conceptual beginnings of his immaculate silkscreen prints, Yann likes the fact that the graphic simplicity of his work leaves it open to interpretation. In short, you don’t have to deconstruct Yann's intentions to appreciate the graphic punch and playful optical trickery of his work. There's an illusory element to his work that recalls the mind-bending shifts of Op art, and yet there's something more playful at work here as well. These visual mind games aren't intended to confuse, but rather to intrigue and foster further thought. Or you could just gaze in wonder at their crisp, graphic lines…
The Magic Number runs 'til 5pm on Sunday 28th May
Open Tues–Fri 8–5, Sat–Sun 9–5
Buhler and Co
8 Chingford Road
London E17 4PJ