Corve exhibition by Sam Griffin, London

(Image credit: Sam Griffin)

The term 'Blue-sky thinking' isn't what you'd normally associate with an artist known for his intricate pencil drawings, but Sam Griffin's new exhibition is closer to the corporate world than meets the eye. Reflecting on office environments, Griffin's latest body of work is an abstract and thoughtful presentation of drawings, sculptures and readymades.

Holding fort at London's Gallery Vela (opens in new tab) until January 2011,'Corvée' (the name comes the medieval reference to the free labour required by a lord or landowner of his tenants under the then feudal system) looks at the particular bits of adornment that are put into office spaces to soften them up and give an otherwise sterile environment a more humane atmosphere.

Griffin cites 'office art' as 'commonly seen as the geometric abstract shapes that frame reception walls', and his pieces point to how office embellishments perfectly serve the remit of large corporations, pushing their messages of achievement, success and boundary-pushing, when in reality these images of a corporate paradise are just an illusion - our sole purpose of being in an office is purely to work.

In his study of this particular phenomenon, even generic office plants often found lining lobbies have a part to play. Some of the sculptures in the show have living plants inside them which, according to Griffin, are a hopeless nod to the Garden of Eden.

Muzak for Erwin S. Wolfson’, 2010

’Muzak for Erwin S. Wolfson’, 2010
Pencil on paper, framed
47 x 47 cm

(Image credit: Sam Griffin)

’State Of Becoming’, 2010

’State Of Becoming’, 2010
Pencil on paper, framed
36 x 63 cm

(Image credit: Sam Griffin)

’New Safe Confinement’, 2009

’New Safe Confinement’, 2009

(Image credit: Sam Griffin)

’Even If I Could Help You, I wouldn’t, I couldn’t’, 2009

’Even If I Could Help You, I wouldn’t, I couldn’t’, 2009
Aluminum composite

(Image credit: Sam Griffin)

If A Man Will Not Work, He Shall Not Eat’, 2010

’If A Man Will Not Work, He Shall Not Eat’, 2010
Aluminium composite, heatherGriffin’s Corvée exhibition at London’s Gallery Vela

(Image credit: Sam Griffin)

Griffin’s Corvée exhibition at London’s Gallery Vela

Griffin’s Corvée exhibition at London’s Gallery Vela

(Image credit: Sam Griffin)

Another installation view of the show at Gallery Vela

Another installation view of the show at Gallery Vela

(Image credit: Sam Griffin)

Glass trophies, walnut shelf

Cursus Honorum, 2010
Glass trophies, walnut shelf

(Image credit: Sam Griffin)

Aluminium composite, plaster on board

The Old Man, 2010
Aluminium composite, plaster on board

(Image credit: Sam Griffin)

Aluminium composite, pebbles, aloe vera plant

Make No Little Plans, 2010
Aluminium composite, pebbles, aloe vera plant

(Image credit: Sam Griffin)

Plaster on board

Groupthink, 2010
Plaster on board

(Image credit: Sam Griffin)

Delta City, 2010

Delta City, 2010
Aluminium composite, pebbles, Dracaena fragrans ’Massanger’

(Image credit: Sam Griffin)

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