Annikka Olsen, Artnet News, March 1, 2023

Spotlight: Cadogan Gallery Inaugurates Its New Milan Space With an Exhibition of Sam Lock’s Book-Based Works

"Sam Lock: Carta" presents evocative new works made from fragments of art books.


What You Need to Know: Cadogan Gallery, which has been a bastion of the South Kensington, London, art scene since 1980, has announced the opening of a new location in the heart of Milan. In addition to the gallery’s space in Hampshire, which presents site-specific exhibitions, the Millan space will be Cadogan’s third location and first international venue. Continuing the gallery’s mission of supporting artists from all career stages, the new space will present both artists who have grown with the gallery long term as well as a new roster of emerging and established international artists. Located on Via Bramante, the inaugural exhibition of Cadogan Gallery, Milan, is “Sam Lock: Carta,” and will be on view from March 2 through March 31, 2023. The exhibition centers on Lock’s work with paper, specifically material recovered from a damaged and discarded collection of art books. Following on the heels of his solo exhibition at the London gallery space in 2022, the show is a continuation of the artist’s “explorations into ideas of presence and absence, history and memory, time and repetition.” 



Why We Like It: Lock’s work in “Carta” highlights a range of dichotomies, inviting viewers to consider—and often reconcile—temporal, physical, and psychological contrasts. The title of every work in the show is drawn from remnants of text that are still discernable on the paper used, and which reference illustrations and passages that have been lost, bringing both the past and present states of the material to the fore simultaneously. Lock uses a method of pasting pages from the books onto the canvas and sealing the works with lacquer, and where the pages meet, they are torn off. This process lends the works a quality of pristineness, yet they inherently contain damage, both through the artist’s tearing of the pages and the prior damage sustained. The tensions held within Lock’s work are furthered by his interventions in the form of stark, darkly colored marks across the surface, recalling questions of time and authorship, as well as the language of memory as the text fades and the new marks remain sharp. The minimalist compositions, with only the color of the lacquer and deeply pigmented marks, are accentuated by their placement within Cadogan Gallery Milan, and in turn, highlight the strong architecture of the space.


According to the Gallery: “Designed and purpose-built to host an extensive schedule of exhibitions, the space will showcase works by artists who have grown alongside us ever since the gallery first opened. It will also present well-established artists and up-and-coming talents new to Cadogan. With its light-filled courtyard, distinctive Milanese architectural features and modern aesthetics, this new space will allow us to display works in the same spirit as the London venue, albeit in a different and ambitious way. After many years of hard work, we are excited to take this new step forward: we chose Milan because we think it is currently one of the most important places in the international art world, full of potential for the future.” —Freddie Burness, gallery director.

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