John Hurrell – 25 February, 2011
Collins' text, Inside Painting /Outside World, has a blue sky interwoven with dark clouds and floating diagonal coloured brushstrokes. Such an image implies the text is nonsensical, for painting is a part of the world and can never be isolated from it or pure.
8 February 2011 - 26 February 2011
The brand new Tim Melville space in Newmarket has been open for just over two weeks and is refreshingly different from the old venue in Kitchener St which - let’s face it - was tiny. The high spacious walls must be an exhilarating sight for the artists he represents. There are nineteen works created by nine such individuals in the show: Elliot Collins, David Cox, Jonathan Jones, Mabel Juli, Lena Nyadbi, Joe Sheehan, Linden Simmons, Roberta Thornley and Wayne Youle.
Roberta Thornley tends to dominate the display with eight photographic prints - each in an edition of three. Some of the subtly coloured grey objects are a little bland (just too simple and designy) but the balloon with a cobweb caught on one side, and a small liquor glass rimmed with what seems to be icebox crystals, are amazing.
Jonathan Jones has a gorgeous neon work of sixteen fluorescent tubes stacked horizontally and held by brackets. They are turned to face the wall so we see the reflected light bouncing off it - and their backs with holes for screw-heads etc. It is a lovely work but it suffers (rightly or wrongly) by being too similar to that of Bill Culbert. This country has the wrong context for it.
One of the big surprises is the set of four unique inkjet prints by Wayne Youle that reference the four types of colour separation (CMYK) used in printing: cyan; magenta; yellow; black. Delightfully perverse the texts are permutations on the activity of painting be that (paint)ed, (paint)ing, (paint)er, and (paint)s. He could have used (print) etc but that would have been obvious and dull. Of course with some artists like Rick Killeen the distinction between painter and printer is digitally erased. That seems to be Youle’s point.
Another compelling work using language to comment on painting is contributed by Elliot Collins. The dominant text, Inside Painting /Outside World, has a blue sky interwoven with darks clouds and floating diagonal coloured brushstrokes. Such an image implies the text is nonsensical, for painting is a part of the world - and vice versa - and can never be isolated from it or pure. Formalist dynamics are inseparable from the associations they generate, while cultural devices like frames, plinths and white walls function merely as symbols for steering thinking towards art’s internal qualities. Their own forms and properties are reminiscent of the ‘outside’ world.
This show has an abundance of riches. There is some graphically striking painting from two indigenous Australian artists, Mabel Juli and Lena Nyadbi, and a superb watercolour of an ominous storm approaching a township from Linden Simmons based on a newspaper cutting. With the nightmare in Christchurch currently preying very much on everybody’s minds, the distance between horror in faraway (or not so far) places as experienced by its victims and reported versions in the media (that might be quoted and aestheticised by artists) is appropriate food for thought.
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