John Hurrell – 11 August, 2015
Le Lievre's deep and ominous Motherwellian shapes, wobbly tidal edges, peeking underlays, frenzied striations, glowing feathery rivulets, delayed dribbles and tremulously brittle pencil lines nod to Bambury's purple and pale green planes, wave to Calder's curling black cords that suspend her trussed up pupae-pod paint-skins - also the splayed spindly stool legs that hold up her folded, shiny multi-coloured Stack - and hail the glittering frosted glass surfaces of Amsel and their deep pellucid pools within.
Helen Calder, Shannon Novak, Marie Le Lievre, Stephen Bambury, Galia Amsel
Solid Colour Part 1
Curated by Trish Clark
22 July - 11 August 2015
This carefully laid out exhibition - with its systematically organised planes of conversing colours and echoing textural and linear arrays - (in its first section) brings together five very varied artists to compare approaches to, and viewer experience of, colour. In title it might called ‘Solid,’ but that is only because we are not seeing evanescent fog, spray or hovering mist, but materials of dense consistency that are stable. Much of the colour here is thin, layered, linear, and sparkling in its transparency - yet firmly palpable with assertive physical presence.
Stephen Bambury has the gallery’s dominant high wall with a huge two-canvas painting (No.38 (After Kave)) from the early eighties - a magnificent work that explores vertical extension and delicate matte layering - yet he is upstaged by the four, organic, glossy glazed canvases of Marie Le Lievre. Her deep and ominous Motherwellian shapes, wobbly tidal edges, peeking underlays, frenzied striations, glowing feathery rivulets, delayed dribbles and tremulously brittle pencil lines nod to Bambury’s purple and pale green planes, wave to Helen Calder’s curling black cords that suspend her trussed up pupae-pod paint-skins - also the splayed spindly stool legs that hold up her folded, shiny multi-coloured Stack - and hail the glittering frosted glass surfaces of Galia Amsel and their deep pellucid pools within.
Around the corner near the office, Myers Playground, Shannon Novak’s meditative video, on a dark plasma screen, presents intermittently spaced, vertical coloured lines that sprout glowing geometrical shapes and sing dissonant music notes (unique to each hue), before contracting, descending, and fading to oblivion. This intricate, delicate work has infinities with the intricate and delicate qualities of the two very small Bamburys: orange and black (Colour Work/FSBWOBS204) / green and white (Colour Work/SFVL539). One hot, the other cold, these compact little rectangles - squat columns with stunted interlocking arms - splay out from the wall like horns, playing a gentle flicker with alternating chromatic slivers.
This exhibition is a particularly satisfying combination of colour, shape, transparency, form, line, sound and movement: a successful fusion of sculpture, painting, video and gallery architecture. And while the Novak, Amsel and Calder works tend to be tucked away in corners with Le Lievre and Bambury taking the central positions, there is an impressive cohesion to this show, an attention to detail where spatially peripheral works feed off the items that have initial impact and offer something of themselves to the alert viewer. This is a balanced installational osmosis where they are not ignored. Clever stuff.
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