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
Alfredo Jaar, Other People Think, 2012, light box with black and white transparency. Chartwell Collection, Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tamaki, purchased 2016

Reason and Sentience in Others

AUCKLAND ART GALLERY TOI O TAMAKI

Auckland

 

International contemporary collection sampler
Other People Think


10 March -10 June 2018

JH
Imogen Taylor, Imposter Syndrome, 2017, acrylic on canvas; Isobel Thom, Stacking Storage Boxes, Teapot, Cup and Trivet, Bottle Bell, Geodesic Cup and Salt Pigs. Photo: Sam Hartnett

Taylor, Cochran and Thom

TE URU

Titirangi

 

Imogen Taylor (with Vita Cochran and Isobel Thom)
Pocket Histories,

 

10 February —13 May 2018

JH
Natasha Matila-Smith (all 2018, poly-velvet blend, spray paint):  The Scent of You Stays With Me; His Lips Pink and Swollen; Spaghetti, Alone.

Bad Education

ST PAUL St Gallery

Auckland

 

Louisa Afoa, Natasha Matila-Smith, Molly Rangiwai-McHale, Faith Wilson
Between You and Me

 

19 April - 1 June 2018

JH
Tony Cragg's exhibition as installed at Gow Langsford. Photo: Tobias Kraus

Cragg at Gow Langsford

GOW LANGSFORD GALLERY

Auckland

 

Solo show
Tony Cragg

 

8 May - 9 June 2018