The Olduvai Cliff by Sam Griffin, Paris
After showing in group shows across the globe for the last nine years -The Olduvai Cliff, opening in Paris’s Galerie Schirman de Beaucé this week, will be Sam Griffin’s first ever solo show.
Taking renowned architectural hotspots as his cue – the British artist finds influence everywhere, from Georgian cathedrals to abandoned warehouses.
See more of Sam Griffin’s drawings from his latest series: The Oluduvai Cliff
Griffin’s nostalgia riddled pencil drawings intricately capture those buildings, places and spaces that both define our cultural landscape and act as markers of its decay.
Moving away from the the contemporary art world’s obsession with abstraction, Griffin’s drawings are unashamedly representative. Rather than shy away from tradition, it is tradition that informs them. Griffin is fascinated by the way in which buildings and structures can come, over time, to signify something beyond their physicality, and represent the ambitions of a generation.
Artfully mimicking the intricate style of Georgian miniatures, Griffin’s delicate drawings are obsessed with space and ritual – an obsession that has clearly informed both his jittering thought process and in turn, his supremely steady hand.
The show’s enigmatic title is a play on the time-appropriate Olduvai theorum (the theory that global industry will implode due to dried up resources) which grants Griffin the conceptual green light to tackle his favoured themes of social squandering and cultural transience.
A pessimist, however, Griffin is not. An accomplished draftsman and restrained social spectator, he manages to condense his impossibly broad range of subjects into highly technical yet conceptually digestible drawings.