Brett Cody Rogers for FvF

"You just go in and out, you have to go in, and work, and then you turn your back on the work, you run out the door, to go pick him up at school, you don’t look back, you don’t think about what went wrong that day, or if you made something good or bad, or whatever, you just made stuff and you just deal with it later..." - Brett Cody Rogers

the kitchen: scones, orange juice, and California morning light

I recently interviewed L.A. artist Brett Cody Rogers for Berlin based Freunde von Freunden. Ailine Liefeld photographed Brett's home and studio, while Brett and I talked about his studio practice, and his early days assisting, including a very interesting story Matthew Barney's Cremaster 3. Read the full interview, and see all the photographs here, on FvF.

"We met with Brett Cody Rogers in his Los Angeles home, in a neighborhood called Los Feliz that borders on Griffith Park. Inside his 1927 home, Brett’s walls are covered with art works (including his son’s room), and he led us around his home, upstairs and downstairs, explaining the stories behind each work. His wife was just leaving for work as we sat down with coffee and scones in his kitchen. I first learned about Brett Cody Roger’s work at a store in Los Angeles called South Willard. Ryan Conder, the owner, installed one of Brett’s painted geometric canvas mobiles from the ceiling. His later works continue to suggest forms of architectural reference, and his interest in modernism, while he moves painting to photography. Over conversation, Brett explained how the birth of his son 4 years ago changed his studio practice, “taking all the crisis out of art making.”

- David John for Freunde von Freunden

"When my son was born, everything changed as far as my work goes…within a year, my grandfather died. My son was named Van after him, it was a really strange time for me. Pretty much everything changed, but I think for the better. I had to re-evaluate what I was doing, and I went through 2 years of making work in nothing but black and white, which prior to that it was very colorful. And then I started making photographs again. It was something I could make an image fairly quickly with, and so the means as with which I was working, I was working with cheaper materials, faster processes, and just by doing that, I got more of a handle on the content. Whereas before I was relying very heavily on color, to do all the leg work in the painting.

So when my son was born, the whole thing opened me up pretty greatly. I think the biggest thing is that having a kid, it takes all the crisis out of art making. You know when you have too much time to think about yourself and your own troubles in the studio, and you worry about everything, worry about making the wrong move, and if a painting goes wrong and it’s like the end of the world. I had all these existential crises before I had a son, and from the moment he was born, it took all that out of art making, and it made it more enjoyable to make stuff, because you just have less time. You just go in and out, you have to go in, and work, and then you turn your back on the work, you run out the door, to go pick him up at school, you don’t look back, you don’t think about what went wrong that day, or if you made something good or bad, or whatever, you just made stuff and you just deal with it later, which is really great.

Living Room: Brett Cody Roger's "Painterʼs Forms", 2011, C-print, brass frame

Entryway: drawing by Ricky Swallow in the entryway

I notice a lot of familiar artists in your home. Can you talk about some of the work that is here?

Brett: Sure, they are mostly friends’ works, given to us as gifts, or as trades. There are some of Ricky Swallow’s pieces, some ceramics, a bronze whale that he made, and he made this watercolor for my wife for her birthday, it’s of two dead fish, and there is another drawing by the entry way, and it’s a skull sitting on top of a tophat, with some barnacles next to it. This is from Lesley Vance from 2007, Jed Lind, Bari Ziperstein, Violet Hopkins, this one is from Bara (Hans-Peter) from Berlin, another German painter named Klaus Merkel. He was an early influence and mentor to me.

Go to Brett Cody Roger's site here.

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DISC Interiors

"In California, where the climate is temperate and houses are small (and expensive), it's common for homeowners to annex the garage as living space. This parking-space-turned-garden-room in West LA by David John and Krista Schrock of DISC Interiors might be the prettiest garage conversion we've seen yet." - Remodelista

Our latest residential project was published today on Remodelista. Thank you for the kind words! This space is rich in work by L.A. artisans and designers. For a full listing of our projects go to DISC Interiors. And go to Remodelista to read full article.

"DISC Interiors provides our clients with tailored, warm, and inviting spaces. We begin with a conversation of ideas, which leads to sketches, and eventually into realized and living spaces. We approach each project differently, seeking to fully understand the client's needs and expectations.

We look to well-crafted furniture, modern and traditional materials, and textures as inspiration for our projects. We are inspired by modern aesthetics that speak of a specific place and history. While our combined backgrounds in craft and graphic design define our distinct perspective on interior design, it is our relationships with artisans, furniture and textile designers that enable us to realize our designs.

Above all else, we believe spaces should be filled with personality, warmth, and above all, simply feel good."

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Modern Craft : Merchant House NYC

"a group of designers working with modern craft techniques — including Paul Loebach, Kyle Garner of Sit and Read, Louis Lim, Nine Stories Furniture, and Colgate Searle — have infiltrated the house’s time-capsule interior with a beautiful juxtaposition of contemporary objects."

all photography by David John

Re·side: verb - "To be inherently present; exist, a state of continuation"

The Merchant House in NYC on East Fourth Street was built in 1832, and was home to the Tredwells, a wealthy merchant-class family who resided from 1835 to 1933 in the home. The late Federal style exterior and Greek revival interior rooms of the residence have been preserved as a house museum for over 75 years. The home is a National Historic Landmark, and is open to the public.

Jill Singer and Monica Khemsurov of Sight Unseen, hosted Noho Design District and organized "Modern Craft" asking contemporary designers to "infiltrate the house’s time-capsule interior with a beautiful juxtaposition of contemporary objects." Paul Loebach, Kyle Garner of Sit and Read, Louis Lim, Nine Stories Furniture, and Colgate Searle installed their works on all three levels of the home.

As I traveled up the stairs of the home, the floor boards giving into my weight, light reverberating through the window frames onto the newly placed works, I imagined the Tredwells coming into their home 150 years later, viewing these works for the first time. What do these "modern craft" objects say about our present culture? The Merchant House provided space to begin a conversation about these works and their contemporary context. The contemporary and historical works combined with the light of late afternoon, reminded me of a melody, a song of sorts: "Disappearing Objects" by composer Christian Kleine. Take a moment, listen here.

Kyle Garner's (of Sit and Read in Brooklyn) elegant chair, an overdyed faded green into yellow sling chair constructed with a Persian rug was a painting onto itself, simply supported by a wire frame. In another room, Louis Lim's Star Knot, made of knotty pine plywood, maple, and solid paine end grain, rested silently, twisted by the window, in complete synergy with the nearly 200 year old floor planks, and the frame of the bed.

The Merchant House has recently been threatened with towering new development. Please sign the petition here to help preserve this historical landmark, so that it does not disappear.- David John

Louis Lim, Star Knot: "a playful sculptural object,
but soon reveals itself to be a storage unit with retractable drawers."

original furnishings of the Merchant House

Kyle Garner's sling chair, 2012

the servant's quarters, on the fourth floor of the home.
white, torn sheets draped over items. skylight above.

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a store visit with DFC : Mexico City

"Mexico City rocks. The level of creativity is stunning, and the freedom with which people can create here is a huge change from NYC, where struggle is part of most artist's/designer's lives. "

"the store reflects a postmodern mix of references, also including Olivia Newton John's Physical video, Japanese boutique design (especially Bape and Billionaire Boy's Club,) 70's gay disco, and also retro American jewelry story and office lobby design." - Tony Moxham, DFC

artesanía (=arte) "craftmanship"

Last month when I was in Mexico City walking through the Colonia Roma on a on an overcast afternoon, I saw from across the street a small store glowing. Mirrored boxes with panels reflecting light, objects in cubes stacked to the ceiling, fluorescent light escaping into the street. Immediately I knew this was DFC, a store many friends in Los Angeles told me I should seek out. Tony Moxham and Mauricio Paniagua, the two men behind DFC, are "dedicated to the marrying of traditional Mexican techniques and styles with modern design to create objects for home and commercial projects." I asked Tony Moxham some questions about his project, the future of DFC, and Mexico City, a city that I will return in the very near future. - David John

Where did the idea for DFC originate?

Tony Moxham: DFC was created when my BF, Mauricio Paniagua, and I moved from NYC to Mexico City in 2005. While creating our new home here, we discovered we were unhappy with a lot of design we could find, and also at the same time were discovering the wealth of Mexican artisanal talent , so we decided to deal with the situation by creating DFC, which stands for DFCasa.

D.F is el Distrito Federal, of Mexico City as it is known here. Casa means house. We had both lived in NYC for around 14 years previously, and were more than ready to sell a house we had renovated in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, and start something new somewhere new.

How do you find new artisans to work with for the products of DFC? How do the artisans respond to making such contemporary works?

Tony Moxham: All DFC designs, aside from our wall coverings (which are created with Brooklyn based Flavor paper) are 100% hand made in Mexico. From the start—especially as Mexican aliens wanting to prove ourselves in our new home—it was important to work locally and with Mexican culture and history. We had the pleasure of being able to travel extensively when we first arrived to Mexico, and this was the basis of our first contact with artisans. Since then, we have built a small team of trusted and awesomely talented folks we work with on a regular basis.

For new projects we often travel to specific hot-spots for a given technique and then seek out the best in their field, as it's not true that all artisans are talented! From our experience it's important to work with a team that is not only technically skilled, but also interested in learning and change at the same time as preserving skills and techniques already learnt. Many artisans we encounter are very close-minded, uninterested in new projects, and in many case unable to comprehend change, though it's a mistake to view this as laziness. We believe that for artesania itself to evolve, the people who create it also must. To this effect, we also strive to introduce artisans working in different techniques to each other's work, and often create projects that combine the work of artisans in different fields.

For those that have not been to Mexico City, can you talk about the current state of the city?

Tony Moxham: Mexico City rocks. The level of creativity is stunning, and the freedom with which people can create here is a huge change from NYC, where struggle is part of most artist's or designer's lives. Historically, Mexico boasts more than its fair share of artists, writers, designers, and architects in comparison to most other countries in Latin America, and we believe that is still the case today. What we really love most though is the lack of competition between creatives working in similar fields. It's very refreshing, especially coming from NYC and it's art/fashion/magazine worlds. Almost all of our friends here work in different creative fields, and their own projects frequently cross-over. The art and design scenes here especially are fantastic right now, we believe in part due to this friendly cross-polination. And of course, the food and fun here in Mexico City is legendary.

Who designs the works for DFC?

Tony Moxham: All DFC designs are a collaboration between Mauricio and myself. From time to time we also bring in contemporary artists to work with, especially for projects that involve illustration. Depending on the project, designs take anywhere from a coupe of weeks to over a year to actually reach a point where we can sell them. For ceramics, there is a model and mold process that is time consuming. For other projects simply researching and developing idea can take months. We work more closely to the rhythms of the fashion world to that of the design industry, so things tend to be timed for Spring or Fall release.

The design of the store is truly beyond . A backroom disco-tech. Who worked on this design, and what was the guiding force for the space?

Tony Moxham: The store was created by Mauricio, myself, and Marcos Ruiz, DFC's third partner, and one of Mexico's most important emerging art collectors a business mavericks. We were all obsessed with the cave-like and fascist design of Diego Rivera's Anahuacalli Museum, and so sought to take this feeling and futurize it.

As with many DFC designs, the store reflects a postmodern mix of references, also including Olivia Newton John's Physical video, Japanese boutique design (especially Bape and Billionaire Boy's Club,) 70's gay disco, and also retro American jewelry story and office lobby design.

the store window of DFC, photography by David John

The future for DFC?

Tony Moxham: You'll hopefully be able shop at a DFC store in NYC in the not too distant future. As with all things DFC, we're working hard and planning big :)

How was Zona Maco for DFC?

Tony Moxham: Zona MACO was a fantastic success for the brand, especially in regard to audience response. By positioning our design work at the edges of the art world, we have created a niche that seems to be working awesomely for us. More recently when we attempted to show our work within a design or retail context, client responses ranged from visual confusion to anger at our price-points and no willingness to understand the complex hand-made and complicated processes we work with, especially from gluttonous American retailers and customers more used to high-run disposable design mass-produced in China or India (We now sell our Mexican-made designs at Lane Crawford, one of china's highest end boutiques.) Art buyers are not only interested and open-minded . . . they also have money.

go to DFC's site here.

DFC: Colima 124D, Col. Roma. Tel: 55 5533 5339

(photography by David John)

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BOFFO Show House

"Each apartment is a bi-level two bedroom apartment between 1300-1800 sq ft. The goal of portraying these concepts is to allow the installations to play with convention and challenge the norms of contemporary interior design."

works by ROLU

Looking forward to the opening of BOFFO Show House this week in New York, a kick off to a weekend of design and events, including NOHO Next and ICFF. More to come - David John

"The BOFFO Show House will bridge art and design through installation showcasing designers and artists in a residential setting with the goal of creating a profound and relevant experience representing modern living at a visually enticing Manhattan destination. BOFFO Show House is a cutting-edge experiment in living showcasing creative furniture, décor, and art creating complete interior environments that redefine possibilities of interior space. Beyond a level of traditional staging of spaces, as would be expected in a contemporary show house, the products and selected work will be presented through powerful installations of designed objects and artwork. BOFFO Show house will feature one-of-a-kind furniture and art as well as market ready furniture and products, and antiques. Working with some of the most creative, artists, architects, designers, product manufactures, and galleries today, BOFFO with Andrew Yes will creatively assemble four unique spaces.

The project is located at 371 Madison Street in the Lower East Side of New York City. The building was originally made as the PS12 school house. It has now been converted into a 120 unit apartment complex. The BOFFO Show House is situated in four apartments that were renovated from the original auditorium with 20’ ceilings and views to the adjacent gardens."

ROLU 3 New Works:

more here.

Read ROLU's interview on YHBHS

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a conversation with Sage Vaughn

"For the show, I got a new suit, and I am in Hamburg with my wife, and we show up at the opening, and nobody talked to us the entire night, because I was wearing a suit, and nobody knew I was the artist. It was really rad and strange, my wife and I were grinning idiots in the corner, thinking what do we do. (laughing)." - Sage Vaughn

color studies at the studio

In addition to interior design, I have been busy writing for design/art publications. Writing for myself is an attempt to understand more than can be "seen" with the eye, a chance to explore further. I recently had a conversation with L.A. artist Sage Vaughn for the Berlin based Freunde von Freunden about his studio practice, his hippy parents, and his upcoming shows in China. "Freunde von Freunden is international interview magazine that portrays people of diverse creative and cultural backgrounds in their homes or within their daily working environments, " and I'm thrilled to be writing for them. Read the full interview here at Freunde von Freunden. Photography by Zen Sekizawa.

"Sage Vaughn is optimistic, humorous, vulnerable, and he immediately welcomed us on the day we visited his studio. His Pasadena studio, which sits behind a car wash, is full of works in progress, including the butterfly and moth paintings that were included in the Transmission LA exhibition at MOCA. He joked about the fact that he was named after the herb, “sage” by his hippie parents. He is endlessly enthusiastic about living in Los Angeles, stating "I love L.A., its uncontrived exoticness, it is never ending and stretching… it is just a total brain-fuck to be here. I love how weird it is, always, and it just makes me feel sane to be here.” His dad recently moved to New Mexico, and has asked Sage to come out for an eclipse, for which Sage is considering renting a camper to make the drive with his wife.

Sage explained that at one point in his career, he became frustrated thinking he was painting only for kids, but then on a studio visit with Chris Burden and viewing Metropolis II, an elaborate sculpture utilizing toy cars, he instantly felt better and confident about his direction as an artist. Also present in the studio are large sculptural wall works that have never been shown, and a collection of exquisite masks that were constructed a few years ago. His eyes lit up when talking about contemporary painters, and specifically when he saw Daniel Richter’s works for the first time. Then our conversation quickly flipped to ”Easy Rider”, an American biker magazine, and the magazine clippings that will be turned into surrealistic collaged postcards, and eventually mailed out. Later this year, Sage will be showing new works in China, for which he is currently working on in his studio the day we arrived." - David John

Read the full interview here at Freunde von Freunden.
Photography by Zen Sekizawa.

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Apparatus : ICFF

"Its something like a time machine,
we bring forward this incredible texture that is hiding in the polished raw material. "

new pieces, details, and Apparatus workspace in Manhattan.

New American Lighting

In two short weeks, I'll be back in New York with our firm, DISC Interiors seeking out contemporary design, lighting, & furniture at ICFF, Noho Design District, and Wanted Design. One company I'm particularly excited about is Apparatus, a small lighting company based in Manhattan that is producing warmly defined, minimal lighting crafted out of brass, leather, and other materials. All of the works are made by hand in Manhattan.

Gabriel Hendifar and Jeremy Anderson, partners of APPARATUS (read their interview here) will be showcasing new works at ICFF, (exhibit space 1662) which includes the Vanity Sconce, the Pivot Sconce, and Highwire, a new chandelier. Gabriel Hendifir spoke to me about their starting points for these new works, and his love of natural patinas. Looking forward to seeing these works glow in person next week! - David John

above on the right, the Pivot and the Vanity Sconce.

"The Vanity Sconce is our modern interpretation of classic dressing room lights. The warmth of bare bulbs creates a very flattering light on the skin. I love the juxtaposition of the glamorous theatrical reference with the rawness of oxidized metal. We are so enamored with brass and the myriad shades it turns as you apply processes to it.

The Pivot Sconce is a way for us to showcase the material, in a very direct, uncluttered way. We are showing it Two-Tone, using a technique we've developed to achieve dual finishes on one piece of metal. I think the result is very painterly, while also feeling minimal and modern. The piece is just as beautiful in a solid finish, as the natural patina of the metal comes to the surface. Its something like a time machine, we bring forward this incredible texture that is hiding in the polished raw material. " - Gabriel Hendifar

the Pivot Sconce

the Highwire

"Highwire is inspired by the silhouette of French aerialist Philippe Petit against the skyline. He is such an idiosyncratic character and his figure standing precariously on a wire is an arresting visual. We sought to design a piece that nodded towards this image, while also functioning mechanically as a balance bar would on a wire. The piece is calibrated such that the balance bar, which is wrapped in leather, has the ability to tilt on its access. It exists somewhere between chandelier and mobile."

go to APPARATUS here.

Read the interview on YHBHS with APPARATUS

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Design : SOHO

a design tour of SOHO, with Modenus

above image: Ochre, N.Y. photos by David John

It's been over a month since I returned from New York for Modenus' BlogTour, and I am still sorting photos and emails. The trip was truly overwhelming on so many levels. One perfect afternoon, we spent the day walking around SOHO to design stores, such as Ochre, The New Traditionalists, Paul Rubenstein Ltd, Canvas, to name a few. - David John

is a British based furniture, lighting and accessory design company with a showroom open by appointment in London and a retail store in New York City. Along with selling directly to individuals, we partner with reputable interior designers and architects all over the world to assist in creating warm, luxurious and elegant interiors for their residential and commercial clients. Ochre’s calm individuality is expressed through the use of complementary materials to make each piece truly unique and timeless. (text from here)

ball of twine at paula rubenstein ltd.

ceramic vases at Ochre, N.Y.

Thank you for the companies sponsoring You Have Been Here Sometime's trip to NY: Miele, DuVerre Hardware, Samuel Heath, Poggenpohl, Scholtes, Blanco, Victoria + Albert, Spirit of Sports, Big-Ass Fans, Jenn-Air, Modern-Aire.

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Modern Art & Design Auction

Los Angeles Modern Auctions
Preview April 25 – May 5, Auction May 6, 2012 12 p.m.

above:Edward Wormley Pair of Cane-Back chairs
(photography by David John)

This Sunday May 6, 2012 at 12 p.m. LAMA's Modern Art & Design Auction will be held at their Van Nuys Warehouse. This afternoon, I previewed the lots including works from Andy Warhol, David Hockney, Tom Wesselmann, Robert Rauschenberg, R.M. Schindler, Ed Ruscha, Greta Grossman, Karel Appel, Louise Nevelson, Charles Eames, Claes Oldenburg, and Richard Neutra to name a few.

The design auction market continues to gain momentum. "Last year our sales reached $8.5 million, nearly doubling our previous record of $4.5 million set in 2008,” stated Peter Loughrey. Further, LAMA recently named Dan Tolson as the new Director of 20th Century Decorative Art & Design.

As an interior designer, I look to LAMA for knowledge & expertise, and their selection of international design + art. I've included a selection of photographs of works that caught my attention on today's preview. LAMA's catalog is online here, and the preview is ongoing, till their May 6th Auction.

See you there! - David John

Read Peter Loughrey's interview with YHBHS here, from 2010:
"Peter Loughrey was raised in rural Maryland by antique-collecting parents. He has early memories of visiting antique shops and decorative arts museums; both were slow and deliberative compared to the fast pace of auctions."

Greta Magnusson Grossman Desk with rare top storage unit
Glenn of California designed 1952 Model no.6200 and 6200A, Est: $10,000 - $15,000

Charlotte Perriand

Pair of Perriand stools plus one of a simlilar style,
Galerie Sentou designed 1970 Mahogany

Le Corbusier!!!! Bogota Aubusson

1950 Handwoven wool From the edition of 6

Estimate: $40,000 - $60,000 (in background)

John Follis & Rex Goode
"Sombrero" Architectural Pottery designed 1949

Serge Mouille Lampadaire Simple floor lamp
Studio designed 1953; early production , Estimate: $15,000 - $20,000

Carson Thomson
Prototype articulated table

Studio designed c. 1965 Mahogany and enameled steel

Edward Durell

Stone Stool Fulbright Furniture designed 1945 Oak

Stan Bitters
Group of four bird feeders Hans Sumpf designed c. 1960

Estimate: $1,000 - $1,500

"Founded in 1992 by Peter Loughrey, Los Angeles Modern Auctions (LAMA) is the first auction house to specialize in selling 20th century Modern Art & Design. LAMA holds four auctions a year, plus occasional exhibits that are open to the public. From the casual buyer to the most dedicated collector, LAMA auctions offer quality, vetted modern material in every price range, including paintings, prints, furniture, and decorative objects. With 25 years experience in the modern art and design field, LAMA has carved a niche into the international market through milestone auctions featuring artists and designers such as Charles and Ray Eames, Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein, Paul Laszlo, Pablo Picasso, Alexander Calder, and R.M. Schindler. LAMA has also conducted auctions for prominent California estates, including those of James Prestini, James Byrnes, and Max Palevsky. From a single work of art to an entire estate, LAMA is quickly becoming the choice auction house on the West Coast to buy and sell Modern Art & Design."

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Within the ‘labyrinth’
a paradox is allowed:
we lose ourselves to find ourselves.

Robert Morris

"A full scale labyrinth installation by Robert Morris is on view at Sonnabend Gallery in the courtyard. Robert Morris has said of his labyrinth works: “The labyrinth is a form that recedes back beyond memory. And it seems to have been a kind of metaphysical architecture, one that was never actually built in ancient times but rather inscribed in petroglyphs, or stamped in coins, and later manifested in mosaics or depicted in paintings. Beyond its origins being shrouded in the unrecoverable past, its function in ancient times remains a subject of endless speculation. Metaphors rise and fall here; labyrinthine meanings are reflected in the form itself.” “I think of Wittgenstein’s remark about how language is a labyrinth of paths; approached from one side one loses one’s way. So too forming with the non-linguistic can become labyrinthine, coherent from one side, not from another. Within the ‘labyrinth’ a paradox is allowed: we lose ourselves to find ourselves."

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"You lie in the heat of a summer haze
And turn it into a winters tale
You pull down the blinds
and shut out the sky " - Lloyd Cole, loveless

Harold Gilman
(1876‑1919) Study for 'Leeds Market' Date c.1913
@ Tate Britain, until May 7.

"Gilman's subject here is the isolation and loneliness of life in a big city,
but, unlike the older artist, he suppresses all suggestion of a narrative." (text from here)

"And do what you can to turn the whole thing grey ,
You're crying and pleading and you're hell just to be with
And you're everything that Ill ever need
So why do you say you love me when you dont?
You fall back into the English way
Of feeling only guilt cause you feel no pain
You sit and you stare at the empty page"
(Lloyd Cole, loveless)

"The Camden Town Group was a London-based society of sixteen artists who exhibited together three times in 1911 and 1912. The group encompassed a diverse array of styles and objectives, and ultimately disbanded due to artistic differences. Despite the brief nature of their alliance, their association heralded the absorption of European Post-Impressionism into contemporary British art, and witnessed a new desire for art to feature subjects taken from modern life. To mark the centenary of the group’s formation, this display focuses on one of their shared concerns, the important role in artistic practice of drawing. "

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