Nau mai, haere mai, welcome to EyeContact. You are invited to respond to reviews and contribute to discussion by registering to participate.

JH

Picnic On The Top Floor

AA
View Discussion

The best works are the big landscapes, with lots of wild uncovered scumbling and lower strips of exposed primed canvas - presented to mock commerce but in fact embracing it.

Auckland


Andrew Barber

Picnic

Gambia Castle at Britomart Masonic House, Level 3

9 December - 12 December 2009

The title Picnic seems to refer to spacious park or estate grounds for a location, and a plaid or tartan blanket on which the food to be consumed is placed. For these openly slick (rough whilst elegant) ‘unfinished’ landscapes are in fact two contradictory paintings - on both recto and verso. Painted tartans (ie. crisscrossing perpendicular and horizontal bands) on one side, and very brusherly but sweet vistas, modelled on real estate brochure photographs, on the other.

Andrew Barber’s elegant presentation of eleven such mischievous - but not really subversive - paintings in three linked artists’ studios on the top floor of Britomart Masonic house has a touch of the Scottish rebel about it - a fantasized claymore prodding the side of the wealthy landscape purchaser, an imagined dirk pricking their throat with its implied (but fake) symbolic ‘abstract’ violence. The tartans don’t look that Scottish. They look like Burberry and quite different from the tartans of say, Rob McLeod or Kenneth Noland paintings.

The presence of two paintings back to back on the same canvas also slows down the chemical process of paint hardening - not drying, using the principles of evaporation as with acrylic, but oxidizing so the skin solidifies, as with oil. The works have to hang around the studio longer and so tease the artist with their quick execution but slow stabilization.

The best works are the big landscapes, with lots of wild uncovered scumbling and lower strips of exposed primed canvas - presented to mock commerce but in fact embracing it. One enormous work is stunning and it alone is the worth the effort of clambering wearily up the stairs. It’s a good looking show in an impressive, attractively raw, venue.

 

Print | Facebook | Twitter | Email

 

Recent Posts by John Hurrell

JH
Installation of Jeena Shin's Movement Image Time exhibition at Two Rooms. Photo: Sam Hartnett

Shin Works on Canvas and Paper

TWO ROOMS

Auckland

 

Jeena Shin
Movement Image Time

 

27 October - 25 November

JH
John Stezaker, Marriage (Film Portrait Collage) CVI, 2013, collage, 30.3 x 23.3 cm. Image courtesy of the artist and The Approach, London.

Repulsively Enchanting Stezaker

CITY GALLERY WELLINGTON

Wellington

 

John Stezaker
Lost World

 

26 August -19 November 2017

JH
Tomislav Nikolic, How Long Must We Live Right Before We Don't Even Have To Try (Role Model), 2017: #1, mixed medai; #2, mixed media; #3, mixed media;

Tomislav Nikolic Paintings

FOX JENSEN MCCRORY

Auckland

 

Tomislav Nikolic

How long must we live right before we don’t even have to try

12 October - 11 November 2017

JH
Phil Dadson: Notation  Series #6 (961), painting; Tonethrone, instrument; HEADSUP@961: 23.8.16, projection

Dadson at Headlands

AUDIO FOUNDATION

Auckland

 

Phil Dadson
Shiver Me Timbres: Solos and Collaborations with a Multi-Voiced Instrument

 

5 October - 28 October 2017