Plywood Transmission

December 8, 2014

Cedar Lewisohn is a London-based curator, writer and artist, also known as an expert and researcher on street art and graffiti. He’s worked on numerous projects over the years, curated many exhibitions, published two books and is currently preparing his own solo show at London’s Cock 'n' Bull Gallery. Lewisohn’s focus for his show are woodblocks. The artist sees them as tools to make images from, although they are in a way images themselves. As Lewisohn explained: “The woodblocks are a visual alphabet that is constantly expanding. Everything from Mesopotamian gods, Masonic symbols, scenes from places in London pertinent to me. The blocks are cut by hand with a router, and various woodcutting tools. I think I am a compulsive producer… I’m always drawing, writing, making things. The woodcuts and woodcut prints came out of a desire to slow the process down. I'm also attracted to the analogue nature of them. The very idea that they are not a digital, video, online, type of thing. I work with scale with the woodcuts and prints, because it’s unusual to see these types of objects so large. Woodcuts are typically small things done with fine pieces of wood. I use sheets of ply. The scale gives them a sense of theatre, and the audience is on the stage.”

Cedar Lewisohn, photo by Matylda Krzykowski
Cedar Lewisohn, photo by Matylda Krzykowski

Cock 'n' Bull Gallery
At Cedar Lewisohn's studio, photo by Romy Finke

The Artist's View of the Show

The blocks themselves are stained with color from previous use. Although they look old and it’s hard to place them, they at the same time seem contemporary because of its clash of various historic moments. Lewisohn continues his explanation: “Primitive”,"primitivism" are contested words, from a contested art history. It’s another form or Orientalism in some senses.  So the woodblocks play with that space. They are about techno, they are about the future but they tap into something ancient to communicate that. It takes time for the information to be transmitted. I think, or hope, they are pop for future generations.”

Cock 'n' Bull Gallery
Cedar Lewisohn, photo by Romy Finke

Heroes and Villains

Rebecca Lidert, the Director of Cock ‘n’ Bull Gallery, had the first encounter with Cedar Lewisohn’s new woodblocks in an abandoned office block in East London: “It was almost as if the pieces had been made to fit the enormous space with paper squashed between ceiling and floor and woodblocks spread across the large expanse of panelled carpet. Heroes and villains with sharp teeth and bendy limbs stood larger than life in every color, as if creatures from another world seeking a victim or warning off unwanted attention. Exiling these characters to CNB Gallery, to live underground in the basement of Mark Hix’s Tramshed was not only an exciting possibility but an opportunity not to be missed.”

The exhibition entitled Plywood Transmission opens Friday, December 12th at Cock ‘n’ Bull Gallery in London and will be running through Friday, January 9th.

Cock 'n' Bull Gallery
Cedar Lewisohn, photo by Romy Finke

Cock ‘n’ Bull Gallery

Cock ‘n’ Bull Gallery is located in the basement of Mark Hix's Tramshed restaurant on Rivington Street, Shoreditch, London. A wide range of artists, from the established to the undiscovered show their work with exhibitions changing monthly. It is a celebration of Gallery Director Rebecca Lidert’s love for art and hunger for innovation and creativity.

If you like the art of Cedar Lewisohn and would love to know everything about his upcoming projects, sign
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Cock 'n' Bull Gallery
Cedar Lewisohn, photo by Romy Finke

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