Peter Dornauf – 20 March, 2013
There is nothing metaphysical about these works, but they do engage the eye in arresting and satisfying ways. Their titles - Gate, Space, Ambit, Threshold, Plan and Tower - all take the viewer back to the drawing board. What takes them beyond that confine is their painterly treatment blended with an inventive composition.
22 February - 21 March 2013
Duncan Ryder is a fulltime graphic designer and his art reflects that practice; precise clear lines, sharp definition, geometric forms that mimic architectural plans and careful delineation of paint.His exhibition, Threshold, is on at The Framing Workshop, Hamilton, one of the few remaining commercial galleries to have survived in the city, its success due in part to its modest size and the fact that it is an adjunct to a successful art framing business.
Ryder was born in London and emigrated to New Zealand in 1972 and later, after graduating, operated for many years as a graphic designer in a studio located in Auckland while keeping his hand in as a painter. Now Waikato based, Threshold is his second show at the gallery that sees him exhibit a recent collection of eleven works created in the year just gone.
The central, largest and best piece in the show is a triptych entitled Lintel/Block/Beam. The link to the world of construction and planning is obvious. In the left hand panel, scratched into the paint is even the floor-plan of some building which recalls something of the same from the early surrealist works of de Chirico. These hatching marks provide aesthetic contrast to the careful and meticulous handing of the paintwork. Forms abut one another on the right hand panel in a dynamic contra way that play with visual notation and compositional disjunction. The cropping is severe and lends an element of mystery while the solid versus transparent annotation introduce a nice binary foil. At the same time colour harmonies of a minimalist kind lend a real cohesiveness to the piece as a whole, the abstract forms set off against 3D configurations supply a satisfying keyed frisson.
A suite of smaller works continue the theme of architectural mass and formation against flat backgrounds, appearing as models or prototypes of structures that engage with angle and perspective. Blocks and shapes appear to have a strong connection to elements that might easily have come out of small details from The Disquieting Muses, 1925 or Metaphysical Interior with Cookies, 1958.
There is nothing metaphysical about these works, but they do engage the eye in arresting and satisfying ways. Their titles - Gate, Space, Ambit, Threshold, Plan and Tower - all take the viewer back to the drawing board. What takes them beyond that confine is their painterly treatment blended with an inventive compositional format.
A show well worth a look. A painter to watch.
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