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Greig, Cleavin and Hammond

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Jason Greig at St.Paul St Gallery Three. Photo by Melissa Laing. Jason Greig at St.Paul St Gallery Three. Photo by Melissa Laing Barry Cleavin at St.Paul St Gallery Three. Photo by Melissa Laing. Barry Cleavin at St.Paul St Gallery Three. Photo by Melissa Laing. Jason Greig, The Mouth of Madness, 2011, monoprint. (Note the reflection on the glass is not the image.) Jason Greig, Spanish Fly, 2011, monoprint. Jason Greig, Set the Sails for Mystery, 2011, monoprint (Note the reflection on the glass is not the image.). Bill Hammond, Wishboneash D, 2011, acrylic on paper Bill Hammond, Wishboneash Urns and Burners, 2010, acrylic on canvas.

As the Greig survey exhibition, The Devil Made Me Do It, presented by Christchurch Art Gallery in 2006 and curated by Peter Vangioni never got to the North Island, this is a good chance for Aucklanders to see what they missed out on, although regular visitors to the Ivan Anthony Gallery will be familiar with his practice. In these shows his work interacts with two other artists very different in sensibility.

Auckland

Barry Cleavin and Jason Greig
Third Exhibition Print Season 2011
2 April 2011 - 9 April 2011

 

Ivan Anthony
Jason Greig and Bill Hammond
Wishboneash: Urns & Burners

30 March 2011 - 23 April, 2011

The Lyttelton printmaker, Jason Greig, deserves to be a lot better known in the Auckland region - he is under acknowledged - despite being in last year’s Sydney Biennale. So it is apt he in participating in two very strong two-person shows currently on in Auckland. One is with the revered printmaker and teacher Barry Cleavin in St. Paul St Gallery Three, part of the Third Exhibition Print Season and curated by Melissa Laing; the other is with another Lyttelton artist, renowned painter Bill Hammond, at Ivan Anthony.

As the Greig survey exhibition, The Devil Made Me Do It, presented by Christchurch Art Gallery in 2006 and curated by Peter Vangioni never got to the North Island, this is a good chance for Aucklanders to see what they missed out on, although regular visitors to the Ivan Anthony Gallery will be familiar with his practice. In these shows his work interacts with two other artists very different in sensibility.

Greig is famous for his murkily atmospheric monoprints that blend a growling black humour with demonic human/beasts lurking in a Victorian Gothic setting. They are also quite contemporary with their references to contemporary comics, posters or LP sleeves.

Barry Cleavin normally makes etching/aquatints, but like Greig, who was once his pupil, he is a superb draughtsman and versatile at many types of print production. His images tend to have purer colour and focus more on clearly defined line and texture. Plus he now also experiments with digital methodology using inkjets to recycle his old images in new unforseen combinations or with texts.

The latter is because Cleavin adores language, its sound, sense and visual particularities when written out or encoded. Often his images are generated by punning phrases: witty verbal nuances that act on his imagination so that titles create the image. Words come first and stunning images come after.

With Greig, words come last. The making of something to look at -even if not quite graspable (especially if not quite graspable) - gives him pleasure and is a priority. Old images create new ones, inspired variations emerge from other artists or himself or something he sees and experiences. The morose and obsessively inward become normative. Creepy rumblings of the supernatural abound. Are commonplace.

The St Paul St show is two mini retrospectives juxtaposed to draw out two quite different creative personalities, and as such is a treat. The exhibition at Ivan Anthony is different, being more Hammond and Greig’s recent work. Here Greig matches consistently the quality of St Paul St, but Hammond disappoints. A large painting made at the time of the Christchurch earthquake shows this artist at his weakest. Awkwardly stiff and anaemic it looks obviously incomplete, lacking body. Hammond on an off day.

The works of birds and urns on paper with metallic paint are also so so - lacklustre with no energy or invention. The show is clearly Greig’s. The next Hammond show at Ivan Anthony might be superlative - but not today.

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