Nau mai, haere mai, welcome to EyeContact. You are invited to respond to reviews and contribute to discussion by registering to participate.

JH

Hot Vertiginous Pleasures

AA
View Discussion

They might overwhelm, but with their very considered placement and knowing pattern alignment, they are not out of control.

Auckland

Amber Wilson

The Bends


3 March - 1 April, 2010

A couple of months ago I visited a group show out at Unitec’s Snowwhite gallery and commented on the watercolours of Amber Wilson. The year is passing quickly and her new oil paintings - now showing at Anna Miles - are understandably quite different, though still very much preoccupied with pattern and rhythm.

Whereas the watercolours were restrained, Wilson’s eight oil paintings are, in contrast, as you might expect, ‘full on’. They revel in loud garish organic patterns, yet when you study them, there is a lot of nuance. First impressions can be deceptive, and the colour is not as saturated as you might suppose - though it certainly is heated. In fact it is not shrill, but highly insistent and at times muted. More importantly, Wilson’s use of shape is extremely inventive.

These richly patterned canvases look like they are a hybrid of Ed Paschke and Elizabeth Murray, or made by Howard Hodgkin on acid. Their backgrounds seem to also allude to Victorian book marbling, fabric design, underwater sponges and lush beds of rampant tropical flowers. The inner shapes floating in front, containing plain or swirling colours in silhouette, hint of items as varied as animal parts, Moorish architecture or rubber stamps. There seems to be no embracing logic, but appear to have evolved through intuition.

If anything they are linked by humour that plays across the figure - ground relationship. There pervades a nutty ambiguity so that shape is always generating multiple interpretations. It is always loaded and rarely ‘pure’ abstraction. The vertiginous psychedelic wackiness is tempered by meticulous control of tone and a subtly serrated edge, especially when rendered by tiny multiple brushstrokes.

Wilson’s inventively decorative paintings are rich heady concoctions that celebrate ocular pleasure. They might overwhelm, but with their very considered placement and knowing pattern alignment, they are not out of control.

 

Print | Facebook | Twitter | Email

 

Recent Posts by John Hurrell

JH
John Stezaker, Blind (Film Portrait Collage) VIII, 2017, collage, 25.3 x 20.3 cm, courtesy of The Approach

Stezaker in Auckland

STARKWHITE

Auckland

 

John Stezaker
John Stezaker: Collages

 

9 October - 3 November 2018

JH
Shannon Te Ao, my life as a tunnel, 2018,  two-channel video with sound,  duration 9:48 min, cinematography: Iain Frengley,  installation view: Hopkinson Mossman, Auckland

Recent Te Ao Project

HOPKINSON MOSSMAN

Auckland

Shannon Te Ao
my life as a tunnel

 

8 September - 14 October 2018

JH
Installation of Vivian Lynn's 'Extricating Form 1969 - 1984', curated by Christina Barton, at Bowerbank Ninow, Auckland.

Vivian Lynn Works on Paper

BOWERBANK NINOW

Auckland

 

Vivian Lynn
Extricating form 1969 - 1984

 

12 September - 13 October, 2018

JH
Grant Stevens, The Waterfalls, 2016-18, archival ink on archival paper, ongoing series, each 825 x 550 mm

When Artifice Creates Nature

STARKWHITE

Auckland

 

Grant Stevens
The Mountain and the Waterfalls

 

1 September - 29 September 2018