Thursday, November 28, 2019

Metal Affects - Installation Views

Installation View. 
Left to right: Brent Harris, Allan Mitelman, Imi Knoebel.
Imi Knoebel, courtesy of Fox Jensen McCrory & Fox Jensen Gallery


BRENT HARRIS
“Double Dead Bunny”, 
1992
AP
Edition of 15
Oil on stainless steel on wood mount.
23 x 16 x 1.5 cm
Private Collection
Brent Harris is  is represented by 
Tolarno Gallery, Melbourne & Robert Heald 
Gallery,Wellington





Installation View. 
Left to right: Brent Harris, Allan Mitelman, Imi Knoebel, Devin Farrand.
Imi Knoebel, courtesy of Fox Jensen McCrory & Fox Jensen Gallery
ALLAN MITELMAN
“Untitled” 
2014
5/20
Hard ground etching
Image:  19.5 x 14.75 cm
Private Collection
DEVIN FARRAND
“Carrara Landscape”
2016
Yellow zinc plated steel
65 x 39 x  2.75 cm
Private Collection
Installation View. 
Left to right: Matlock Griffiths, Wolfram Ullrich
 MATLOK GRIFFITHS
Left:“Four across (4/4)”
2019 
Patinated bronze. 
31.9 x 30.9 x 4.2 cm. 
Private Collection
Right:“My Fair Lady (1,2,3)”
2018
Patinated bronze. 
30 × 28 × 3 cm.
Private Collection 
Matlok Griffiths is represented by  Reading Room, Melbourne & Darren Knight Gallery , Sydney

Installation View. 
Left to right: Devin Farrand, Matlok Griffiths, Wolfram Ullrich.
IMI KNOEBEL
“Big Girl G.2”, 
2018 
acrylic / aluminium 
44.5 x 32.8 x 3 cm
Courtesy of Fox Jensen & Fox Jensen McCrory Gallery
Imi Knoebel is  is represented by Fox Jensen Gallery , Sydney & Fox Jensen McCrory, Auckland
Installation View. 
Left to right: Brent Harris, Allan Mitelman, Imi Knoebel. as before
Imi Knoebel, courtesy of Fox Jensen McCrory & Fox Jensen Gallery
Installation View. 
Left to right: Matlock Griffiths, Wolfram Ullrich
WOLFRAM ULLRICH
“Untitled [Gelb/ Citron]” 
1997
Acrylic on steel.
25 x 50 x 5.2 cm
Private Collection
Installation View. 
Both works: Matlock Griffiths as before
DEVIN FARRAND
Detail: “Carrara Landscape” 2016
as before

Tuesday, November 26, 2019

Metal Affects - Greenwood Street Project

When you start to think of painting in regard to its support you can start to think of pictures. You can think of illusionistic space filled will symbols and messages, read or undeciphered. All of this clinging to a web of fibres called the support, linen or canvas, light and easy to unfurl and re tension for transport in a 16th century transaction. This trajectory unravels quickly when painting is questioned (yet later defended). The painting, image, message and support begin to shift in weight and volume.

What happens when we look at Lucio Fontana’s punctures and incisions? He quickly decided that all manner of structure can support his advances. The slits in canvas moved to become chiselled violations of metal shim.

The works presented in this Greenwood Street Project are an exploration of a malleable shift to the metal support and its value to the individual artists’ oeuvre.

To return to images, the production of etching, particularly the most direct of these processes, the dry point etching, allowed for low relief drawing and incising to be a mechanism of mass communication. The metal burr filled with ink, pressed to dampened paper. The plate created with clarity, often precision, great effort and dexterity. The use of the etching medium varied wildly in its primacy between the print as reproduction, multiple or study.

In Matlok Griffiths’ bronze’s we see not reproduction but painting. These reliefs freeze a now unseeable work, for we cannot know the model’s pictorial intent through colour and shade. Now we know it through its material, evidenced permanently in bronze. We can see the effort and gesture, the texture of the paint and collaged canvas, even the fragility of frozen licks of paint hanging from the surface edge. The artists hand and figuration are heightened by stasis implied by the bronze and sealed under its stately patina.

It is possible for mark-making into and /or onto metal can move beyond the tenderly elevated replica or signatured intaglio. 

Devin Farrand is a sculptor in metal and marble. In this work he has modified the surface by “drawing”, the tool: welding, on the reverse of a steel plate. The alchemic modification of the surface on the presented face is subtle. The image is a landscape, Carrara, the origin his other preferred medium. It is revealed by a wash of rainbow zinc passivation sealing the work. The process simultaneously conflates and elevates the concealed image while being produced with a chemical process unique to this set of materials. This work is also moved to object status by its steel angle frame treated identically to the surface pushing the image into object territory once again.

This object has no paint & its coloured film is spontaneous and uncontrollable. Imi Knoebel is flirtatious but masterful with concepts of control. Historically, his extrusions, build, repetitive paint application & method are tested and trialled. The rigidity of the process is clear yet undeniably painterly. This recent work offers a flurry of brush stroke and luminous pigment. The clarity gives way to humanity through gesture and the torn form of the surfaces cut out edge. The betrayal here is where the lyrical, seductive surface does not float micron thin from the wall but instead, on some 3cm’s of solid aluminium. The regrounding onto industrial measures of material support seamlessly continues his exploration of painting as a priority. Aluminium is as molten at some point in its fabrication as paint is pliable. Could it be a sub-narrative on elemental states of gas, liquid through to solid?

Heft and solidity are illusions as strong as those of pictorial space. The level of relief and its placement on the architectural support (the wall) can shift perception equally. Wolfram Ullrich’s work is a dimensional relief with oblique steel edges. Its torqued geometry shifting as its points appear to adjust with you in your track through the room.  His works illusion is spatial, implicating the viewer and the environment into his theatre. The front face is painted to sharpen the impact, where the colours intensity seduces. Its machine-like application devoid of the makers hand crystalize the object rather than operate as a pure surface. The support is doing the work here. 

The film of paint that registers and supports his spatial image is flat. Observing the work by Brent Harris, the same flat colour and hard edge is applied but the image is fluid as if leaking and doubled for additional friction. The moist repeated shape, produced during the dark days of the AIDS epidemic, lifts and shudders off its surface. This image by Harris was repeated on canvas and on stainless steel, as it is here, and at various scales. The image on metal lifts up like a decal, where the works on canvas with their black ground cause the image rise above then sink into its abyss. The “Bunnies” illustrated on this work are agitated by their adjacency and the tonal shift in the replication. 

Despite the visual tricks, we have arrived back at image and message. But why the steel face? The artist cannot recall. Could it be the surgical precision or the metallic after taste? The question is an opportunity to engage. The Minerals Council may sniff at this nuanced sensitivity, yet our emotional profits lay elsewhere.  To expand this field into a gallimaufry of more extreme sculptures and reliefs and explore tangential threads apparent at the links between these musings is a future prospect, one requiring more walls than this room. All of these objects, paintings or not, reveal an attachment to their chosen ground. However familiar the form making or however gradually the ideas solidify; they could not as richly exist without their elemental base. 

November 2019
Donald Holt

Metal Affects - On View


Sunday, February 18, 2018

Dwelling with You - James Murnane. Installation Views.

Dwelling with You - James Murnane
Greenwood Street Project
Photography : André Piguet

Installation view 
(Left)A heart, 2017, Acrylic on carved Japanese Magnolia, 30x20cm.
 Dans le ciel et sur la terre, 2018, Acrylic on carved Japanese Magnolia, 30x20cm.



Installation View
(left to right)L’astre d’en haut, 2018, Acrylic on carved Japanese Magnolia, 30x20cm.
You need not strive, 2018, Acrylic on carved Japanese Magnolia, 30x20cm.
A heart, 2017, Acrylic on carved Japanese Magnolia, 30x20cm.


Installation View
Il tient en main, 2018, Acrylic on rope, twine, screws, glass and Japanese Magnolia, dimensions variable.
On Floor
Becoming flesh, 2018, Acrylic on purpleheart, 6x29x28.5cm.


Becoming flesh, 2018, Acrylic on purpleheart, 6x29x28.5cm.

Il tient en main, 2018, Acrylic on rope, twine, screws, glass and Japanese Magnolia, dimensions variable.

L’astre d’en haut, 2018, Acrylic on carved Japanese Magnolia, 30x20cm.

You need not strive, 2018, Acrylic on carved Japanese Magnolia, 30x20cm.

Detail, A heart, 2017, Acrylic on carved Japanese Magnolia, 30x20cm.

Detail, A heart, 2017, Acrylic on carved Japanese Magnolia, 30x20cm.

Detail, Il tient en main, 2018, Acrylic on rope, twine, screws, glass and Japanese Magnolia, dimensions variable.


Detail, Il tient en main, 2018, Acrylic on rope, twine, screws, glass and Japanese Magnolia, dimensions variable.

Detail, Il tient en main, 2018, Acrylic on rope, twine, screws, glass and Japanese Magnolia, dimensions variable.



Dans le ciel et sur la terre, 2018, Acrylic on carved Japanese Magnolia, 30x20cm.

A heart, 2017, Acrylic on carved Japanese Magnolia, 30x20cm.



Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Dwelling with You - James Murnane


Like vapours from a thurible, Murnane’s iridescent veils of paint swell and diffuse amorphously. The wood grain is visible through these spare gestures of thin application, its whorls and striations acquiring a likeness to curling smoke too. It is as though surface and mark are harmonising to describe a breath passing over the horizon from abstraction to figuration. Murnane’s paintings borrow from the idiom of Abstract Expressionism in an antiphon to the corpus of Christian iconography.

Responding to the interaction of the edges of the paint and the shapes in the woodgrain, Murnane incises the surface with finely carved lines filled with gold paint. Though they trace and intensify nascent forms, these marks don’t grasp after discernible figures or try and wrest from the painted surface something legible as depiction. Murnane’s practice reverses the order of traditional icon painting techniques: the drawing or graph doesn’t precede and anticipate the application of colour but rather responds to it. 

In these paintings, I see intimations of feathers, arcs sketched by limbs in unfettered motion, and the shiver of ruffled wings. It is as though the spectral figures that I entertain have escaped circumscription and left broken, golden scratches of incomplete outlines. Something intangible is coming or going on this surface. Murnane’s use of iridescent pigments further amplifies this sense of an ephemeral ‘seeing’: they allow ambient light to render shifting hues and reflections on the surface as one moves around the work. The heavy, formal intransigence of traditional Christian icons is relieved and breaks into a coruscant flutter of movement. 

Murnane’s paintings seem to me to image the quickening of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is the agent of the Trinity that synthesises duality. It sets the relation between oppositional terms into motion like a spinning coin, such that these terms become constitutive of one another. The archetypal instance of this is flesh and soul, which the Holy Spirit renders in mutuality. The Holy Spirit also permits the relation of the image to its referent. What is immanent in the icon is its potential to unfold before the gaze and open upon the ground of its own possibility. For Christian iconography, that possibility of sacred imaging at all is established in the life of Christ, who is the incarnate image of God. Just as a human is not a soul poured into a container of flesh, Murnane’s paintings expose that icons are not just the addition of line and colour which delivers the ‘solution’ of a figure.  When Murnane stirs the order of line and colour in his lambent compositions, he reveals the operation of model and image inhering in one another that is proper to the icon. His work serves to refresh the viewer’s experience of iconographic images by adducing and transmitting a pétillance from underneath the reified conventions of traditional iconography.


Ann Debono, January 2018

Friday, August 19, 2016

WINK! The translations of the sonnet.

L’Idole
Sonnet du Trou du Cul
Arthur Rimbaud et Paul Verlaine 1871-72
Obscur et froncé comme un œillet violet
Il respire, humblement tapi parmi la mousse
Humide encor d’amour qui suit la fuite douce
Des Fesses blanches jusqu’au cœur de son ourlet.

Des filaments pareils à des larmes de lait
Ont pleuré, sous le vent cruel qui les repousse,
À travers de petits caillots de marne rousse
Pour s’aller perdre où la pente les appelait.

Mon Rêve s’aboucha souvent à sa ventouse ;
Mon âme, du coït matériel jalouse,
En fit son larmier fauve et son nid de sanglots.

C’est l’olive pâmée, et la flûte caline ;
C’est le tube où descend la céleste praline :
Chanaan féminin dans les moiteurs enclos !

The Idole,
Sonnet of an Arsehole
Crouching and pleated like a violet/eyelet
It breathes, modestly nestled in the moss,
still moist with love's trail of gentle loss
flowing down snowy flanks to its flowery heart.

Trickles, like tears of milky rope,
are wept on the cruel wind that propels them
through the little clots of the russet fen
to be lost down the beckoning slope

My dreams kiss often its wet cup
My soul, jealouse of its ability to fuck
Made of it a nest of tears, a musky duct

It is the swooning date and the caressing flute
it is the tube where descends the celestial fruit
A feminine promised land in moistness shut

Translation by Adrienne Gaha 2016

The Idole,
Sonnet of an Arsehole
Obscur and creased like a violet carnation
He breathes, in humble crawl among the moss
Love moist following the soft escape
From white curves in the heart of its hem

Filaments resembling milky tears
Have wept under the cruel wind rebuking
Through small clots of reddish marl
To be later found lost in the slope calling

My Dream often clenched to its sucker
My soul, material coit jaleousing
Made him its fawn lacrum and its nest of sobbing

The olive is swooning and the flute caressing
The tube in which descends the celeste praline
Feminine canaan locked in moisture enclosure

Translation by Celine Jeanne 2016

Sonnet du Trou du Cul (redux)
Cryptic and creased this purple whorl,
Exhales, hidden humble amongst airy moss
Still damp from soft flights of love
Pale orbs tilting into the lips of its heart.

Milky tears as filaments
Wept, the cruel wind impels them away
Across the small earthy clumps,
To lose themselves where the dunes' slopes beckon.

My dream has oft supped at this lacuna;
My soul jealous of such corporeal exchange,
Wild tears in this nest of wails.

An olive swooning, a beckoning flute
The rush where descends a celestial treat:
Over-flowing feminine banquet, in secret musty cellars!


Translation by Gabrielle Longmate 2016