David Krut Projects is pleased to present City of remembered futures, an exhibition of new drawings and unique lithographic works on paper by Peter Cohen. As a practicing architect, Cohen has an affinity for the built environment, with the relationship between the artificial and the natural, and populace and place, foremost questions in his practice. City of remembered futures explores the disconnect between notions of utopian and dystopian cities, and what emerges from the imagery is a sense of both the tension and harmony between natural elements and concrete counterparts.
While there is a very strong architectural presence, the image of place is devoid of people and rather relies, as in City of stolen voices, on the imagery of structures. The idea was to make these imaginary cities able to function on their own, without people, and so although there is a sense of extreme silence, there is also a sense of life that the cities create for themselves.
The starting point for this body of work was initially sparked by Cohen’s desire to return to drawing, to enjoy both some freedom in movement and accuracy in mark-making. In reference to places outside of the city scape, Cohen has created ‘split landscapes’ that are not connected by space or time but exist together in one work. These more natural scenes remain both connected and unconnected to the urban, separate but intertwined. Notions of place and space are often focused on urban environments, with landscape regarded as ‘vacant’ space, the ‘in between’ space. City of remembered futures shifts the lens to focus on open landscapes as place, with the cities being spaces that exist in between, subverting our notions of where ‘place’ should be.
Returning to David Krut Workshop and working with collaborator Sarah Judge, Peter was inspired to further explore overlaying and junctures between different worlds so to speak. The idea of the ‘split landscape’ evolved into a drawn mirrored imagery printed on top of each other and different sized plates to construct a fractured but relational scene. Cohen also introduced photographic material from his personal archive. Through layering urban and natural landscapes, what emerged was an almost poetic visual language that allows the city to breathe.
Please join us for the opening
3 August 2023 at 4pm
THE BLUE HOUSE | 151 Jan Smuts Avenue, Parkwood, 2193
Contact [email protected] for enquiries
Peter Cohen is a Johannesburg-based architect and artist with his own architectural practice, with a particular affinity for designing modern dwellings that imagine the fine artworks that would fill these domestic spaces. In 2020, amid the global pandemic, Cohen felt the need to create art outside of the realm of architecture. He began exploring both abstract and figurative imagery in different mediums, in the hours after continuing his architectural business by day. With his early works Cohen was industrious with what tools he could find, painting delicate, precise landscapes on spare pieces of floorboards and rolls of heavy brown paper. Cohen’s typically monochromatic work explores imagery related to the built and natural landscape, classical antiquity, and other art historical periods, with a mark that is precise, sometimes eliciting a pixel-like surface.
In 2022 Peter Cohen collaborated with the David Krut Workshop to create a series of monotype prints and a linocut to form part of a body of work that was showcased in an exhibition titled Colour in black and white. This exhibition ran from 10 September to 9 November 2022 at the 142 David Krut Gallery in Parkwood, Johannesburg. In 2023 Peter returned to the workshop, again working with DKW collaborator Sarah Judge, to explore pronto lithography in a series of works about urban landscapes. A showcase of recent work will open at the 151 David Krut Gallery in Parkwood, Johannesburg, on the 3rd of August 2023.