March 21, 2023

London Bits

“Rising from London’s slum clearances, these buildings are the original city redevelopments. Long after the 2012 hype has disappeared their inhabitants will still remain, a testament to building for longevity and the antithesis of short term planning for maximum gain. The washing will continue to wave like flags from wherever it can.”

‘London Bits’ is a collection of huge-scale oil and ink paintings by Frank Laws, inspired by housing estates, crime fiction and tradesmen. Frank’s impressive work embraces the semi-sequestered beauty and historical intrigue of the bricks and mortar that make up London’s ominous tower blocks and nocturnal urban landscapes. The changing discourse of the city as it gears up for the the Olympics provides an alternate view of the stoic, yet passive capital portrayed in Law’s paintings. His work provides and facilitates a fresh perspective of our everyday urban surroundings and pushes forward the concept of London as architecturally and sociologically supercilious, staked out on all sides by the glaring presence of it’s dwellings.

Frank Laws’ work provokes a tender and unsettling appreciation of how London has been carefully wrought, constructed with care and attention, reflected in the wonderful detail of these pieces. ‘London Bits’ is arguably pushing aside all snappy gestures of the Olympics’ blithe commercialism and getting to the heavy, complex heart of the real London. Mounted on the stark white walls of the Orange Dot Gallery in Bloomsbury,  these paintings provoke disconcerting feelings of voyeurism and interrogation, as the viewer peers into each partially obscured centre point of window after window. The detail of these pieces is remarkable, not to mention the sheer scale.

London Bits serves as a demonstration of how painting continues to shape our world; the purest and most intimate documents of how artists see’ Frank Laws’ recent work is a genuflection to the architectural and sociological aspects of London’s modern era dwellings. This exhibition is an example of immeasurable talent and is worth a visit.

Frank Laws, a graduate of Central St Martins divides his time between his studio in London and Paris, where he works as an in-house artist for Louis Vuitton. ‘London Bits’ runs until the end of August at the Orange Dot Gallery.

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