Exhibition statement - Press - Soundtrack 🁢🁢
We are delighted to announce the return to Paris of the Californian artist Augustine Kofie for his fitfth solo show with the gallery. This new exhibition is also an anniversary date as it marks ten years of collaboration between Augustine Kofie and the gallery. Indeed, in 2013, we put on the very first exhibition of the American abstract painter in France, on the occasion of an ambitious cycle on Graffuturism, and it was an absolutely phenomenal immediate success. Ten years later, we are happy to see the path taken by the artist who has built a solid career between the United States and Europe and whose work continues to evolve towards a formal and aesthetic maturity. Augustine Kofie has thus created for the exhibition Undercurrents a sublime collection of brand new paintings on canvas and paper marked by a return to light and clarity.

“In Undercurrents, Augustine Kofie explores the relation between light and dark, hard line and soft texture, and concrete form and empty space, by playing with the concept of undertones both musically and visually. Following the dark purple period of the last several years, this body of work finds Kofie easing back into lighter colors he associates with home and which have been a foundation of his work for many years, associated with his concept of California Soul. This lighter palette emerges as an undercurrent in this body of work, a kind of rising tide ascending to the surface. “These are shy colors, just hints, no oversaturation. I am bringing them in like a blush,” Kofie says. “You know when your cheeks slowly turn red?
This softening of tone is accompanied by a softening of structure and a focus on negative space. The machinist’s masculinist, hard-edged forms are still present, but now they are suspended in spaces, partly obscured by mists. Technically, this is achieved through two complimentary techniques: overspray, using water-based spray paint, and redaction, an iterative technique whereby Kofie cuts away, or removes, existing forms, replacing these with fields of lighter color. This is an intuitive process made possible by years of working with materials and by multiple engagements with and layerings of paint upon canvas. “When I work in this way, I am removing elements that at first I didn’t know could be removed. When I let go and let that happen, things are revealed that I could not have predicted, that I didn’t know were there.
Together, the softening of palette, spraywork, and composition, and the redactive orientation bring the layering of both time and content to the center of the painting process and to the experience of the finished work.”

—— Ruti Talmor, Associate Professor of Media Studies, Pitzer College Chair, the Intercollegiate Media Studies Program, the Claremont Colleges (CA)
Galerie Chenus Longhi
20 rue des Gravilliers, Paris 3e
Exhibition open from June 15 to July, 1, 2023
Opening reception on June 15, from 4pm to 8pm
Opening hours :
Tuesday-Saturday from 11am to 7pm
Undercurrents installation view.
All Images courtesy of Chenus Longhi - © Alain Smilo.
Sigh of bliss, 2023
H 120 x L 160 x 100 cm
Acrylic polymers on primed cotton duck canvas; finished in satin varnish.