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Angular Abstraction

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Over Under Sideways Down as installed at Two Rooms. Photo: Sam Hartnett Over Under Sideways Down as installed at Two Rooms. Photo: Sam Hartnett Jeena Shin, Motus VI, 2014, acrylic on canvas, 2400 x 1800 mm. Photo: Sam Hartnett Over Under Sideways Down as installed at Two Rooms. Photo: Sam Hartnett Jeena Shin, Motus 7, 2015, acrylic on canvas, 1180 x 840 mm. Photo: Sam Hartnett Jeena shin, Motus 2, 2014, acrylic on canvas, 1180 x 850 mm. Photo: Sam Hartnett Jeena Shin, Motus 4, 2014, acrylic on canvas, 1200 x 850 mm. Photo: Sam hartnett Over Under Sideways Down as installed at Two Rooms. Photo: Sam Hartnett Over Under Sideways Down as installed at Two Rooms. Photo: Sam Hartnett Selina Foote, Mary, 2015, oil on canvas, 750 x 600 mm. Photo: Sam Hartnett Selina Foote, Lydia, 2015, oil on canvas, 750 x 600 mm. Photo: Sam Hartnett Selina Foote, Untitled, 2015, oil on canvas, 800 x 600 mm. Photo: Sam Hartnett Selina Foote, Untitled, 2015, oil on canvas, 750 x 600 mm. Photo: Sam Hartnett Selina Foote, Edma, 2015, oil on canvas,750 x 600 mm. Photo: Sam Hartnett Over Under Sideways Down as installed at Two Rooms. Photo: Sam Hartnett Over Under Sideways Down as installed at Two Rooms. Photo: Sam Hartnett Jan van der Ploeg, Untitled, 2011, acrylic on canvas, 480 x 600 mm. Photo: Sam Hartnett Jan van der Ploeg, Untitled, 2011, acrylic on canvas, 600 x 480 mm. Photo: Sam Hartnett Jan van der Ploeg, Untitled, 2011, acrylic on canvas, 500 x 400 mm. Photo: Sam Hartnett Jan van der Ploeg, Untitled, 2011, acrylic on canvas, 500 x 400 mm. Photo: Sam Hartnett Jan van der Ploeg, Untitled, 2011, acrylic on canvas, 500 x 400 mm. Photo: Sam Hartnett

'Over Under Sideways Down' is an especially satisfying exhibition due to the inter-relationships of the three contributors; their sensibilities. These paintings really converse.

Auckland

 

Selina Foote, Jeena Shin, Jan van der Ploeg
Over Under Sideways Down
Curated by Mary-Louise Browne

 

4 December 2015 - 23 January 2016

This grouping of Jeena Shin, Selina Foote and Jan van der Ploeg draws together an assortment of non-objective paintings that examine grids (or the abandonment of tightly regimented order), using squares, triangles and parallelograms as modular units, and three distinctive approaches to colour. Shin - with her larger canvases - has the two short end walls, and van der Ploeg and Foote have a long wall each.

These works really flicker and vibrate. Some like Footes’ - using tremulous angular forms - thrust and jab, while the fewer more ‘stable’ compositions - with rectangles - throb, wobble and convulse.

Foote’s images, because she follows a process where she transmutes gridded up portraits so that unexpected positionings and fragmentations occur, involving a certain amount of chaos. Lively and vibrating, the results always seem unanticipated - as if the shards and compositional image have a will of their own. Plus sometimes there is a strange layering - almost like two separate paintings overlapped, one hiding behind the other. Sometimes even another (third) painting lurking behind that.

On the short walls, Jeena Shin’s four black, white and grey works characteristically explore spatial relationships between isosceles triangles, their tone, sheen, surface edge and background context fastidiously manipulated. The three smaller canvases at the end opposite the entrance all present angular and intricately overlapping ‘islands’, white ‘holes’ peeking through black or dark grey. The middle image is less tonally varied than those on either side, but has greater use of manipulated varnish instead. The righthand work has the feel of architectural construction, as if looking through silhouetted girders at an angle.

In comparison the large work by itself (Motus VI) on the opposite wall (by the office) has a more balanced use of black and white, the covering areas seeming more equal in their distribution, though still complex in their angular linking up. This results in the avoidance of spiky forms surrounded by their opposite tones, allowing the elements flow into each other more.

The five gorgeous canvases by Jan van der Ploeg explore repetition and mirroring via various horizontal or vertical structures. Like other artists such as Kathy Barry or Richard Killeen, van der Ploeg exploits the sharply pointed tips of geometric forms. Using layered strata he has stacked up dark flattened parallelograms, showcasing a vibrant optical quality (activated when points touch) that moves in diagonal directions.

His five shimmering paintings reflect Selina Foote’s five works similarly balanced in a row on the opposite wall. Colour is used to lock his compressed triangle and diamond formations in position. A blue and yellow work is positioned in the very centre, flanked by dark umber and deep black paintings on its left and right, and then white, black and fluro red versus white and fluro red items on the other edges.

Three of the five involve unified, simple vertical stacking, one is a configuration of three diagonal drifts repeated, and the fifth is a v-formation on its side.

Over Under Sideways Down is an especially satisfying exhibition due to the inter-relationships of the three contributors; their sensibilities. These paintings really converse. A special treat.

John Hurrell

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