Brooklin A. Somahoro presents "Supernova" solo exhibition at Rodolphe Janssen
The First Art Newspaper on the Net    Established in 1996 Saturday, July 13, 2024

Brooklin A. Somahoro presents "Supernova" solo exhibition at Rodolphe Janssen
Brooklin A. Saumahoro, Supernova, installation view, Rodolphe Janssen, Brussels, Belgium, 2022. Photo Courtesy of Rodolphe Janssen.

BRUSSELS.- PERCEPTION IS THE MEDIUM, Sampling, the technique of first digitally encoding sound and then layering it in a new composition of music, in the exhibition Skupernova that is now on view through December 23rd, 2022, can be analogized to the drawing process of Brooklin A. Soumahoro. The artist has so far assigned close to a hundred of his favorite pencil colors with unique numbers in his DIY color chart, assembling a repertoire for him to explore color relationships with economic forms, neat surfaces and geometric compositions to activate colors into synchronistic flows, note by note and beat by beat.

In Supernova, Soumahoro’s solo exhibition at rodolphe janssen, every colored drawing begins with him arranging a few color codes into a sequence, which is then translated into an expanded tessellation of short and uniformed hard-edge colored stripes, and followed by him meticulously applying back & forth pencil strokes to layer and burnish each stripe until no paper tooth shows through the color. The soft wax-based pencil, when pressed hard into the paper layer after layer, builds up a smooth, creamy, rich and vibrant surface that serenades our eyes with melody and rhythm.

All the colored drawings included in the show are in two compositions formed with repeated seamless chevron pattern, zigzagging from top to bottom. The width of the chevron is equivalent to that of a lightning bolt and defined by one particular color but of two alternating values or tones. In one composition, all bands are in one synchronized position. The other composition, such as in “Untitled, (R.M.LF.ORN.1.22)” — resembling a stack of multiple diamond-shaped neon-light tunnels that radiate infinite rays from the central axis to the left and the right, instantly animating the pictorial plane into a nearly psychedelic space, forging unexpected dynamics that signify a restless analytical mind sorting itself out and organizing its energies in bands and colors. Frank Stella once declared, “…that the colors move, that they follow the bands, that they have a sense of direction. And it’s the directional sense of the color…that holds the surface of the painting.”

The series of colored drawings is entitled Lightning Field Drawings, alluding to Walter De Maria’s legendary installation The Lightning Field (1977), which conceptually began with a drawing. The word “field” suggests a space or a landscape. In De Maria’s work, it indeed refers to an actual place in New Mexico for observing lightning. In Soumahoro’s drawings, however, instead of a physical space, it implies the electrifying colored surface that awaits the viewer to find and lose a sense of symmetry and order in the shifting perception. As the eye tries to reconcile various color-effects in the tight arrangement, the vision can suddenly produce an afterimage at a blink: a flash of the perceptual effect that is caused by the interaction of colors.

It is clear that color relationships constitute the foundation of Soumahoro’s drawings. His engagement with the color, however, is not informed by the color theory but developed according to his intuition and empirical analyses. At the heart of his practice is the artist’s profound interest in how capable we are of looking, and how our visual perception can affect our viewing experience cognitively and emotionally. As Bridget Riley argues, “Perception is the medium, through which states of being are directly experienced … Repetition, contrast, calculated reversal and counterpoint also parallel the basis of our emotional structure.”

What is worth noting is that the razor-sharp contour of each band and the saturated and even surface are not produced by using masking tapes or mechanical devices, but simply by the artist’s hand. The secret is revealed in the margin that separates the end of drawing from the edges of the paper: jagged pencil strokes and penciled numbers for assigning colors are clustered into a fuzzy constellation.

Also included in the show are a few thoroughly burnished drawings—made of charcoal, pencil and graphite—that can be easily mistaken for black and white woodcut prints or lithographs. But in fact, the thin, sharp white lines that form the grid and the seamless chevron pattern or simply resemble scratches are not caused by engraving on the wood or metal plates; instead, they are created with direct indentations on the surfaces of paper prior to applying the drawing material over them by hand, which is not conspicuous even upon closer inspection.

In a time when figurative painting is in vogue, Soumahoro employs unmixed and commercially available pencil colors, the systematic approach and the geometric design to search for his own optical style, while revisiting moments in art history when artists turned their backs on the more painterly and gestural forms by emphasizing two-dimensionality and allowing the viewer an immediate visual response. As we fall under the spell of Soumahoro’s dynamic drawings, we cannot help but wonder what the destiny is for paintings and drawings in the 21st century.

Danielle Shang
Los Angeles, August 25, 2022

Brooklin A. Soumahoro (Born in 1990 in Paris, France; Lives and works in Los Angeles, CA USA). Soumahoro had a recent solo exhibition at Sunday-S Gallery, Copenhagen, Denmark (2021) and was included in the group exhibitions: Abstraction and Social Critique at Kavi Gupta Gallery, Chicago, IL USA (2021), Wild Frontiers at The Pit LA, CA USA (2021), and Inner Realm at Massimo De Carlo, V Space (2020).

Today's News

November 20, 2022

How Drake's $100 million bet saved the long-lost art carnival Luna Luna

Pierre et Gilles open an exhibition at Galerie Templon

Jakob, Franz and Rudolf von Alt on view through January at the Albertina Museum in Vienna

Brooklin A. Somahoro presents "Supernova" solo exhibition at Rodolphe Janssen

Contemporary Week at Dorotheum featuring modern and contemporary art, jewellery and wristwatches

Powerhouse takes international leadership position to achieve net zero by 2025

'Art De L'Avant-Garde A Nos Jours: 1918-2021' at Bonhams Cornette De Saint Cyr, Paris

Sullivan+Strumpf open solo exhibition from acclaimed First Nations contemporary artist Tony Albert

Gagosian opens an exhibition of paintings by Pierre-Auguste Renoir in Hong Kong

Barbati Gallery presents a new exhibition program showcasing the Venice art scene

Staughton Lynd, historian and activist turned labor lawyer, dies at 92

High Museum of Art opens exhibition of work by Iranian artist Monir Shahroudy Farmanfarmaian

Notable collections achieve top results at Bonhams Fine Art Sales in New York

Ned Rorem, composer known for both his music and his diaries, dies at 99

Wide-ranging selection of works by Alekos Fassianos leads Bonhams Greek sale in Paris

Keith Levene, Public Image Ltd.'s buzz-saw guitarist, dies at 65

nara roesler new york opens an exhibition of works by Artur Lescher

Review: Two debuts make for a week of Philharmonic firsts

The case for a less-effective altruism

Tina Kim Gallery opens its first exhibition dedicated to Minoru Niizuma

Laurel Gitlen opens the first New York solo exhibition of paintings by You Ni Chae

Stunning selection of American and English Silver brings more than $1.8 million at Heritage Auctions

Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .


Ignacio Villarreal
(1941 - 2019)
Editor & Publisher: Jose Villarreal
Art Director: Juan José Sepúlveda Ramírez
Writer: Ofelia Zurbia Betancourt

Royalville Communications, Inc
Founder's Site. Hommage
to a Mexican poet.

The First Art Newspaper on the Net. The Best Versions Of Ave Maria Song Junco de la Vega Site Ignacio Villarreal Site
Tell a Friend
Dear User, please complete the form below in order to recommend the Artdaily newsletter to someone you know.
Please complete all fields marked *.
Sending Mail
Sending Successful