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Ben Brown Fine Arts presents Awol Erizku: COSMIC DRILL

January 27 - April 6, 2023

Ben Brown Fine Arts presents Awol Erizku's first solo exhibition in Europe for five years, Cosmis Drill from January 27 to April 6, 2023.

Cosmic Drill is the third solo exhibition by Los Angeles-based artist Awol Erizku at Ben Brown Fine Arts. 

The exhibition comes on the heels of his critically lauded shows with Ben Brown Fine Arts, 慢慢燃燒 Slow Burn (Hong Kong, 2018) and Make America Great Again (London, 2017). This exhibition will present an enticing new body of work that combines the disciplines of painting, photography, and sculpture while drawing inspiration from a wide range of sources such as street markings, hip-hop music, basketball, dice games, and NASA telescopic data.

Cosmic Drill includes large-scale mixed media paintings, a monumental marble sculpture, and a conceptual mix-tape created especially for the exhibition. The paintings are created on industrial aluminum surfaces that have been directly emblazoned with photographic imagery such as images of the cosmos captured by NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope and exposed parts of photographic film taken from the 35mm camera Erizku uses to document his daily studio activities. These paintings are inspired by the neighborhood tags – graffiti artist territory-marking’signatures’ – prevalent around Los Angeles on public areas and business exteriors. These are frequently ‘cleaned up’ with mismatched paint or removed with a buffing technique, an aesthetic referenced in the brilliantly spray-painted areas of these new works. Head Crack (Stack or Starve), a totemic sculpture made up of three large-scale, stacked dice sculpted from Black Absolute granite, Verde Malachite marble, and a Red Jasper from Madagascar, is also included in the exhibition, making up the colours of the pan-African flag and representing the ‘game of luck’ that is life.

Erizku is known for his distinct visual language and iconography, which explore questions of race, identity, politics, and cultural history while relying on references ranging from urban culture to the art historical canon. Cosmic Drill is a philosophically innovative and visually striking new body of work by the artist, a sublime continuation and conclusion of the artist’s accomplishments in photography, painting, sculpture, and mixed media.

About Awol ERIZKU
Awol Erizku b.1988 currently lives and works between Los Angeles and New York. Erizku received a Bachelor of Fine Arts from The Cooper Union, NY, and a Master of Fine Arts from the Yale School of Art, New Haven, CT. Erizku’s work has been exhibited at prominent institutions including the Museum of Modern Art, New York; The Studio Museum inHarlem; Museum of Contemporary Art, Toronto; and FLAGArt Foundation,New York. His photographs of cultural and creative leaders have been featured in the New Yorker, New York, GQ, and Vanity Fair, with a recent exhibition of artworks featured throughout New York City and Chicago for the Public Art Fund.

About Ben Brown Fine Arts
In 2004, Ben Brown Fine Arts opened its first location in the heart of Mayfair, London. The gallery quickly established itself on the international art scene with exhibitions of long-term gallery artists Candida Höfer, Tony Bevan, Claude & François-Xavier Lalanne, and Heinz Mack, amongst others, as well as momentous exhibitions of 20th-century masters including Lucio Fontana, Alighiero Boetti and Gerhard Richter. In 2009, Ben Brown Fine Arts opened an exhibition space in Hong Kong, becoming the first international gallery to move to the city that would soon become a major international art hub. In Hong Kong, the gallery introduced notable exhibitions of Pablo Picasso, Sean Scully, Frank Auerbach, and Miquel Barceló, as well as survey exhibitions of Chinese contemporary photography, the Düsseldorf School of Photography, 20th-century Italian art, and the ZERO movement. In 2021, Ben Brown Fine Arts opened a third location in Palm Beach, Florida, with an inaugural exhibition celebrating the legacy of American and European 20th century artists who developed radical approaches to making art, among them Alexander Calder, Georg Baselitz, and Andy Warhol. The galleries regularly exhibit and develop programming for our renowned stable of international, multi-disciplinarian contemporary artists, including the aforementioned as well as Yoan Capote, Awol Erizku, Nabil Nahas, José Parlá, Enoc Perez, Ena Swansea, Hank Willis Thomas, Gavin Turk, and Jan Worst. With multi-lingual staff based in London, Hong Kong, New York, and Palm Beach, the gallery has strong relationships with private collectors, advisors, and public institutions, sourcing and placing important primary and secondary artworks forthem. Ben Brown Fine Arts participates in major art fairs worldwide, including Art Basel, Art Basel Hong Kong, Art Basel Miami Beach, The Armory Show, Frieze Masters, TEFAF Maastricht, and TEFAF New York.

Ben Brown Fine Arts London
12 Brook’s Mews
London W1K 4DG

Opening Hours: 
Monday – Friday 11am – 6pm
Saturday 10.30am – 2.30pm

Tel: +44 (0)20 7734 8888
[email protected]
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