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Painting Highlights at Bath St.

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Denys Watkins, Colletus, 2011, acrylic on linen, 150 x 90 cm Hugo Lindsay, Thylane, 2012, oil on aluminium, 60 x 48 cm Rachael Dewhirst, Kite, acrylic on canvas, 200 x 138 cm Rachael Dewhirst, Moon, acrylic on canvas, 200 x 138 cm Katie Thomas, Little Voices, 2012, acrylic on linen, 80 x 80 cm Denys Watkins, Liberty Cap, 2011, acrylic on linen, 150 x 90 cm Mariko Susu, Drops of Colour, mixed media on canvas, 72.5 x 60.5 cm Jee-young Kim, Rejoice and be glad in it, 2010, oil on linen, 102 x 204 cm

The Watkins works, particular the two vertical ones, typically exploit his thin acrylic washes, precise compositional placement, and whimsical humour with his humorously gawky blobby figures and plant and avian life. It is the mottled paint and sensitively undulating edges that draw you in.

Auckland

 

Group show
Summer Exhibition

 

12 February - 2 March 2013

Eighteen works from a dozen artists make up this late summer group show at Bath street, it being a ‘conservative’ mix with no photography or video - almost entirely painting with a couple of pieces of small sculpture. Yet of that painting, the best here is worth making an effort to see, particularly three canvases by Denys Watkins, two small subtly glazed ones by Mariko Susu, and one stunning portrait by Hugo Lindsay. There are also largish gestural works by Rachael Dewhirst and Jee-young Kim, once old fashioned (now coming back in vogue) that are lively in their abandoned freneticism.

The Watkins works, particular the two vertical ones, typically exploit his thin acrylic washes, precise compositional placement, and whimsical humour with his humorously rigid blobby figures and accompanying plant and avian life. It is the mottled paint and sensitively undulating edges that draw you in.

Mariko Susu has two modest works. The smallest with its knocked back, evenly controlled wispy tones, looks like a mini Rothko with its hovering blocks of delicate floating colour, while Hugo Lindsay’s portrait of a young woman, made with thin oil paint loosely applied with precision, looks halfway between Doris Lusk and Elizabeth Peyton and is especially accomplished.

With a current revival of interest in abstract expressionism it is interesting to see the splasherly, scumbled and dragged surfaces of Jee-young Kim and Rachael Dewhirst. One of Kim’s two images has a strong sense of architectural nuance, sliding but impacting horizontal pressures, while Dewhirst’s energetic canvases - the biggest works in the gallery - hark back to the late fifties with their brushed on, sometimes scrapped off, jumbled overlapping organic forms.

Admittedly mostly a stock show, this group presentation probably should have occurred earlier in the year. After all some Auckland galleries have been having solo shows for several weeks now. Yet these highlights, for those passionate about painting and choosey, make a Parnell excursion such as this a pleasure.

John Hurrell

 

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