EACH LINE ONE BREATH N° A 30 Drawing by John Franzen

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Art Description

Drawing: Marker on Aluminium.

“When I draw, my mind is clear, I feel my consciousness, my thoughts, my body and the world in and around me.
In this state of mind, I aim to reduce the motif and technique to the most basic form of drawing. By mirroring my mindset with the paper in front of me, I aim to achieve an all-encompassing state of being. I, as the artist, become the mere moment, a moment of simple presence.
I draw and focus on the void, on the negative space around the line. The space which is not the line, but which sustains it and enables it to take on the form of a line, ultimately comes to represent the line in its truest form. With each breath the seeming emptiness is filled more and more with the presence of the line, and of ‘being’ itself.”

Video Making of:

EACH LINE ONE BREATH is a limited edition of 50 free-hand drawings.

The first drawings from 2012 - 2014 were made on paper and Dibond.
The new limited edition are drawn by hand with an engraving needle on black varnished 2mm brass and copper plates.

Starting with a single straight line, each subsequent line seeks to imitate its predecessor. The pattern that evolves is unique to each piece just as each breath, and therefore each line, will vary slightly. Depending on the artist’s constitution, each work obtains an individual motion, which distinguishes it from the others. Concentration and the repetitive act of inhaling and exhal- ing between each line allows the whole to evolve naturally into logarithmic- like patterns and layers.

The choice of a line as the starting point for these works lies in their role as
an omnipresent element in all aspects of life. Lines carry waves of sound and light. They mark the lunar gravity on bodies of water in the form of waves, and that of the wind on dunes of sand. Lines imprint the trunks of trees and record elemental growth and fluctuation; rain falls and grass moves in the wind in these familiar patterns. The irreversibility of time leads us to even think in linear terms. The resulting artworks are reminiscent of these varying types of lines that are constantly transporting energy across space and time. The minimalist pattern of sequential, but subtly variable lines also provides an allegory for continuity, repetition, and immortality.

The Line, as the initiation of each drawing, demands the most fundamental act of life: the breath. Through conscious in- and exhalation, the drawing is gradually created. The English word ‘inspiration’ comes from the Old French inspiration - ‘the drawing in of breath’ - and the Latin verb spirare which means ‘to live, to breathe’. Thus our every inhalation triggers inspiration, which is in itself life.

The inexhaustible variety of patterns which can be derived from a simple ini- tial line reflects the diversity of manifested energy in the material world. The fascination in this work is the realisation, that changes in the breath directly influence the materialisation of the line and thereby the whole image. The line carries the energy of the breath, makes it visible and binds it into matter.





John Franzen



Size: 39.4 W x 27.6 H x 0.4 in

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