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How to fall in love on Instagram....

How to fall in love on Instagram....

A Letter From Isabel

As much as I loathe my increasing reliance on digital... just occasionally you hit the jackpot. In the summer lockdown on the 24th May, I was looking on one of my favourite instagram sites, Collagerie... set up by the brilliant Lucinda Chambers and Serena Hood, and I saw the most beautiful wall piece. It was a painting on fabric, hanging in the coolest home office, inspiration courtesy of the Heroldian Art Concepts (a styling and art consultancy), of a room that they had featured.  And I had to find out more.

How to fall in love on Instagram....

Clare Coulson describes Collagerie, this curated yet wonderfully eclectic and intelligent shopping site that covers interiors fashion and beauty, as "a rich retail tapestry of fashion”. And its breadth shows the years of experience in the world of high fashion and style that both founders bring to the site, from high end and low... it is always irresistible. And I think that without their brilliant visual tapestry I would have found lockdown a much sadder place and never found Max Freund.

As with most good online love stories, this one starts with a glimpse of something that intrigues you, and you have to dig deeper. Because, when I looked up the Viennese artist  Max Freund on Instagram – I was hooked and direct messaged him the next day, explaining my coup de foudre for his art. He messaged back...

Hi Isabel!

Thanks! Sounds very interesting! Just tumbled through the website and Instagram of Connolly... so many beautiful products! 

Love it 💌

Will email you soon!

Best, Max

Like those dating websites, we were possibly a good match! With Eric, our Connolly Art and Exhibition manager, and myself completely in love with his works, we started designing a show in lockdown via images on the screen... with Max in Vienna and us in London. Videos and photographs of the space and measurements of the panelling were sent and luckily by June we could get into the space ourselves to double check, but still Max could not come over. In July we had our first zoom meeting discussing which pieces to show, their impact and size needed careful editing as Max paints on fabric and paper but the fabric works are huge and we have the restraints of our Georgian proportioned gallery space. He also works in pencil and mixed media in much smaller scale (for micro publishing house Soybot), and it was how to marry these two styles and scales in our space so that both artforms would receive the same respect.

It has been a virtual curation, with Max only imagining his works in the space and Eric and myself trying to understand the rhythm and balance of the show initially just in our heads and from our screens. Then suddenly last month we realised we needed another large work and thankfully there was still time for it be brought over by Max’s sister who lives in London but would need to quarantine. Despite the logistical challenges, as we also had Max moving studio and his computer breaking down... our connection and understanding by now was so strong that nothing could stop his show from happening, not even coronavirus. So from a glimpse of a work by Max hanging in a room, on my telephone screen, it ends with a truly exciting new creative relationship and an ‘actual physically experienceable world’. 

The exhibition REFRAIN by Max Freund opens this week at Connolly, 4 Clifford Street London.

To book a private view with Eric please email him at or call the shop on 020 7952 6708.

The exhibition is open between 10am - 5pm but if you wish an earlier or later slot please let him know - it’s not a problem.

About Max Freund

Max Freund, born in 1992, is a Vienna based painter and his works bring together ‘diverse sign systems that modulate the hieroglyphics of our time’. As described by, ‘Through paintings, drawings and artist books he enables depictions to turn to pictograms and shift between their own resonance. The dyed, reworked and overpainted surfaces link with accurate line drawings, raw gestures and immediate colour combinations.’ His interest in diverting materials from their intended use, placing them next to each other and overlaying them with thick oil paint, shape the haptic feeling of the image that is so often lost in these digital days and the uncertainty of the Anthropocene epoch where evidence of humanity’s impact on the planet is overwhelming.

After graduating in 2017 from the University of Applied Arts Vienna, Max has participated in various national and international exhibitions such as Kunstverein Wolfenbüttel Germany, G/ART/EN contemporary art space Italy, Studio H13 Lyon, Art Book Fair - Modern Art Museum Shanghai, Belvedere 21 Vienna, Westergasfabriek Amsterdam, Delphian Gallery and others. Recent fanzines and books were published with Nieves Books, Soybot and Quintal Éditions. 

Image Credit: Photograph of Max Freund by Susanna Hofer