Wednesday, November 24, 2010

There are a number of worthwhile exhibitions up. Brian Jungen at Catriona Jeffries, Julia Freyer at Artspeak, Robert Linsley at CSA Space, and this from my notebook:


Paintings and collage. The artist’s ongoing battle with colour, form, harmony (see Stravinsky). A battle because the easiest thing for this artist is to make that which everyone agrees is beautiful, and that bothers her, I can tell.

So up it goes, this beauty, and then the arguments start, the rearrangements. How would this colour behave in this shape next to this colour at that scale? I have visited the artist's studio and have seen paintings that appear near-finished, only to be completely reworked days later.

Jack Shadbolt never stopped doing this. Once, while dining at a friend’s, Shadbolt, who had been distracted all night by a painting of his (purchased by his friend from Shadbolt's dealer), asked if he could borrow it so that he might “fix” it. The friend said yes. A month later Shadbolt returned with the painting, and of course it looked nothing like the “original”.

Of less interest to me was the collage room, if that’s what it could be called, given the right-angle application of unrolled bolts of construction paper to the free-standing U-shaped walls inserted within. Yes, yes, yes, I know the artist does not want to work with this window-interrupted room, but I felt little from it, at least not what I felt from the paintings.

Outside, in the gallery’s glass cases, a horizontal stream of stratified blues and greys, evocative of our sea to sky landscape. Nature staring back at us, Culture warm within.

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