Blain|Southern’s first exhibition with Bosco Sodi features new volcanic rock sculptures and large-scale impasto paintings made with layers of pure pigment, water, glue and natural fibres. Sodi’s relationship with crude raw materials and the constituent elements of nature draws from wabi-sabi, a Japanese aesthetic philosophy that embraces imperfection and reveres natural authenticity above all.


The exhibition takes its title from a multi-layered Japanese concept. Yūgen describes the evocation of inexplicably deep emotions in response to aesthetic creation, and extends to a sense of awareness and acceptance of impermanence. The term reflects both Sodi’s interest in process and his desire to reveal beauty existing in the space between what can be seen.


With studios in Puerto Escondido, Mexico, Barcelona, Spain and Brooklyn, New York; Sodi is able to develop formal processes while creating works unique to each location and its specific atmospheric factors. His process-led creations appear to have developed naturally, the form and texture of each piece is a direct result of the precipitation, heat and humidity to which it was exposed.


Sodi’s works are, for all intents and purposes, excerpts from the natural world transformed through a highly physical process. In this exhibition, the open plan gallery is reminiscent of a Japanese Karesansui garden, populated with Sodi’s rock sculptures. Extracting dried volcanic magma from the Ceboruco volcano in Mexico, Sodi brings together some of Earth’s most recent geological formations with ancient and precious metals, in the form of the gold ceramic glaze which encases them. Selecting each rock for its formal qualities, he glazes the brittle surface before firing the sculpture at extremely high temperatures for three days. By altering their surface texture and the context in which these rocks exist – in this case a London art gallery – he reflects on our perception of value and antiquity. The artist creates an incongruity between the setting and the source, and the exterior and core, of each piece.


The surrounding monumental paintings are sculpted by hand, horizontally from the ground up. By using his hands to create these three dimensional ‘object paintings’ he maintains the closest possible physical connection to the mixing, production and application of his materials. Weather and the environment are as much a part of Sodi’s palette as the pure pigment that he uses. Just as the artist’s energy permeates the painting, the heat of the sun completes the work, forming cracks and fissures across the surface as it is left outdoors to dry.



Notes to Editors:

About Bosco Sodi


Bosco Sodi was born in Mexico City in 1970. His works are in significant public and private collections including JUMEX Collection, México; Vitra Museum, Switzerland; Deutsche Bank Collection, New York, USA; IBM Building, New York, USA; Murderme, London and the De la Cruz Collection, Puerto Rico. Alongside his artistic practice, Sodi is also the founder of Fundación Casa Wabi, an art centre in Oaxaca, Mexico dedicated to promoting the exchange of ideas between international artists of different disciplines. Designed by Japanese architect Tadao Ando, the foundation also develops opportunities for art education with local communities.


About Blain|Southern

Blain|Southern is a contemporary and modern art gallery based in London and Berlin. The gallery represents an international roster of contemporary artists and is the world-wide representative of The Estate of Lynn Chadwick.


The gallery’s recent exhibitions include Ali Banisadr, Abdoulaye Konaté, Nasan Tur, Francesco Clemente, François Morellet, Wim Wenders, Kishio Suga, Bill Viola and Michael Joo.


Bosco Sodi



4 Hanover Square


London W1S 1BP