Lorne Street01 Feb — 18 Feb 2012preview: Tuesday 31 Jan, 5-7pm
Artists from the Gow Langsford Gallery stable are invited to exhibit new works in New Year New Works - a concept that has become somewhat a tradition of our annual exhibition calendar. Although there is no prescribed theme or curated approach to the exhibition, together these works create a kind of compendium of the current practices of represented artists and by extension contemporary visual arts in Australasia.
Each work in Sara Hughes’ Love Me Sweet series is made up of brightly painted aluminium cut outs which take their basis in her ‘Paisley’ works of the early 2000s. Around this time Hughes was particularly interested in the history of pattern and specifically in the way in which it has been used as a transporter of memory, trade, ideas and politics. Paisley, with a history that can be traced through centuries of diverse cultures, held particular resonance and is revisited here in this recent body of works.
Returning to themes conveyed in earlier series Darryn George’s new works are bold abstractions that continue his exploration into the limitless compositional possibilities of line, shape and colour. Like his Pukapuka series, Rata #5 and Atua #10 are text based works in which Maori words act as formal compositional elements within his geometrical abstractions while detailed segments in the background contain elements akin to traditional Maori design.
At a glance three small paintings by Dick Frizzell suggest a more stoic side to his painting practice. His interest in still-life was renewed following his move from Auckland to the Hawkes Bay in the early 2000s and has continued since. Although rarely staged or set up, in the traditional sense of a still life, his arrangements rely on the chance encounters of everyday life. In these three works his every day subjects – a bulging enamel teapot and teacup on the counter; a bowl of used soaps; a stylised dog statue with painted vase – are oddly reminisced in these snippets of everyday living. It is these quirky combinations that imbue these works with an archetypal Frizzellean charm. Interestingly the dog in Vase and Dog is predated by another still life, Still Life with Yellow Dog (1985) in which the same dog features.
In the past five or so years, Karl Maughan has been increasingly adding editions to his artistic practice. The editions, like his paintings, are based on his enduring yet evolutionary garden subject. Published at the end of 2011 Waiata is the newest screen-print. Its large scale captures the painterly, hyper real gardens that are Maughan’s signature.
One of Australia’s most acclaimed artists, Dale Frank, is known for his poured varnish canvases and fascinating titles and Peeing in a chlorine pool, doesn’t disappoint. This work is the result of a highly complex painting technique in which intensely coloured varnish is poured layer upon layer in different stages of the drying process. In the resulting enigmatic and lyrical abstraction, the surface is laden with colours that collide and separate, literally reacting with each other. The next exhibition at Gow Langsford Gallery, Lorne St is an exhibition of recent works by Dale Frank. Devon is my favorite Luncheon meat opens 21 February.
Reuben Paterson’s unmistakable Drag references earlier series in its combination of both fabric-based designs and kaleidoscopic distortion. Bottled Lightning, a thematic exhibition of Paterson’s works, is now on at the Gus Fisher Gallery (until March 3rd). Curated by Andrew Clifford the exhibition highlights Reuben Paterson’s lively exploration of materials, starting with his glitter-on-canvas depictions of kowhaiwhai and fabric designs, and diversifying into a range of media including sequins, foil, diamond dust, shoes, gourds, video and installation. The exhibition provides the most comprehensive survey of Paterson’s work to date and recognises a career that continues to gain momentum.
Martin Ball joined the Gow Langsford Gallery stable in 2011 this new work on paper is an elegant example of his realist style. Japanese Garden (VII) is a new work produced at the end of 2011 and is part of a series that has been developing for a number of years.
Since her exhibition at the Venice Biennale in 2009 Judy Millar’s works have evolved rapidly, particularly with her recent incorporation of printing processes in her paintings. The incorporation of mechanically-generated marks at once challenges our expectations of the expressive gesture and extends her enquiry into the efficacy of painting as a contemporary means of communication. All her works however, begin as directly painted images and through the various intermediary processes become exaggerations of smaller works. This work on aluminium has then the ambiguous status of either "the original" or the "oil sketch" as used by painters from previous times.
Michael Hight, also new to the gallery stable, contributes two new works that deviate from his well-known beehive subjects. The Stutterers: Nights With Te Arawa and Here I Give Thanks to Arthur Meeare the first two works in an autobiographical series called The Dreams of Children. As in his earlier series Notes on the Waikato (2008) Hight uses a theatrical, still-life format, here his subjects reassemble childhood images, events, fragments and memories.