GALERIE CRONE, 2020
We kindly invite you to the opening of the exhibition California_LINE in our new temporary exhibition space CRONE SIDE VIENNA at Hochhaus Herrengasse. The show will feature works by the French-Iraqi artist Laurent Ajina, whose line drawings travel around the world and interact with places, their landscapes and histories.
Ajina's drawings are imbued with an architectural spirit. They are precise, clearly structured and seem to arise from an internal order, growing incessantly. The primary element of his drawings is always the line. Drawn with a black marker, it spreads out over canvases, cardboard boxes or even walls and ceilings, forming abstract structures that evoke a variety of associations both expanding and condensing the view of the visitor.
His artistic practice takes Ajina around the world. Whether in Beirut, Dubai, Los Angeles, or the Wiener Wald, Ajina's works react to their surroundings, mixing current impressions with long gone memories. The exhibition California_LINE reflects Ajina's long-standing connection to Los Angeles, where he has lived and worked repeatedly since the 1990s. In a new series of paintings that has never been shown before, the artist enriches his black line drawings with colored areas that reflect the city's promising hedonism with its well-kept gardens, flowering cacti, and pools glistening in the sun.
The color-intensive works on canvas strongly contrast the drawings on cardboard boxes, which are either presented lying on the floor or folded into three-dimensional structures. The linear drawings thus become portable sculptures that accompany Ajina on his travels. In the narrow streets of Venice or on the rocky hills of Greece – the folded cardboards interact with their surroundings, become part of the landscape or remain foreign visitors. Photographed or caught on film, these interventions can again be transported and presented at other locations. Thus, Ajina creates a worldwide network of visual references that can be constantly expanded.
Born in 1970 in Paris, Ajina first studied at the University of Architecture Paris la Seine before dedicating himself entirely to the visual arts. Ajina's works have been shown in numerous international solo exhibitions, for instance in Paris, Berlin and New York. Since 2006, he has created over forty monumental wall drawings that cover both public and private spaces. He lives and works between Vienna, Paris and Los Angeles.
Laurent Ajina and Galerie Crone would like to thank Kimberly Marteau Emerson, Human Rights Watch California, for her support.