Around the galleries – September 2009

September 28, 2009 § Leave a comment

Published: The Age, A2, September 26, 2009.

Around the galleries Dan Rule

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WHAT Andrea Tu: Black Flux
WHERE Sarah Scout, Level 1, 1A Crossley Street, city, 9654 4429, sarahscoutpresents.com

Andrea Tu seems fascinated by formal and aesthetic dichotomy. Her current show Black Flux at petite new space Sarah Scout opposes mode with tactility and effect – cold, precise linearity with quiet flourish and gesture. Her pair of pen and watercolour Tessellation drawings derive their fine, repetitive patterns from mathematical formulae, though with the addition of faint watercolours, they acquire a beautiful, softened, almost tonal quality. Meanwhile, the third Tessellation work – a floor piece, above – sees perfectly folded paper sculptures twist and unfurl and splay in a fashion that defies their meticulous pleats and striking, inorganic colour scheme. Tu’s three-panel oil and graphite painting Fluxes (air), too, juxtaposes loud, fluorescent greens and blacks with the pale, earthy sparsity of the centrepiece. It’s a sensibility that becomes the focus of Black Flux. This series of converse signifiers and prompts doesn’t necessarily have an end. We’re left suspended between the concrete and ephemeral – the geometrical and tonal – and perhaps asked to reconsider them both. Thurs to Sat 11am–6pm, until October 10.

KOLBUSZ-Elixir

WHAT Waldemar Kolbusz: Recent Paintings
WHERE Axia Modern Art, 1010 High Street, Armadale, 9500 1144, axiamodernart.com.au

There’s a lovely fragility of line and texture that permeates Waldemar Kolbusz’s otherwise bold, abstract expressionist paintings. The Perth-born artist eschews crooked slabs of saturated colour with brittle etches and scratches, sponged texture and bleeding streams of excess paint. Interestingly, while the former accountant’s work lends itself to vivid reds, pinks and blues, some of the stronger paintings in this series feature a kind of muted and organic palette that channels the likes of Mark Rothko and echoes with notions of landscape, soil and earth. Indeed, Kolbusz’s paintings may be void of figuration but they’re unyieldingly redolent. Mon to Fri 9am–5:30pm, Sat to Sun 11am–5pm, until Sunday.

Stormie Mills-Somedaysallmyshadowsarebehindme

WHAT Stormie Mills: Diction
WHERE Helen Gory Gallerie, 25 St Edmonds Road, Prahran, 9525 2808, helengory.com

The street artist-turned-gallery darling continuum has been in various stages of effect since Bronx hip-hop culture’s shift downtown in the late 70s and early 80s. While there’s nothing particularly new about Perth street-turned-fine artist Stormie Mills’ career trajectory, there’s a good reason for it. Mills’ technique and rendering alone seem anchored in fine art and graphite illustration rather than those learnt via Krylon, while the highly personal and contemplative qualities of his characterisation also seem to defy many of graffiti culture’s modus-operandi. The spray paint, acrylic and dirt-on-canvas works that comprise Diction – Mills’ first major solo show in Melbourne – are burbling with feeling and narrative evocations. One central theme is stoicism. Mills’ pallid, stooped characters may seem defeated at first, but they’re nonetheless proud and hopeful. In several works, such as Come on mate, get up, the central characters expend what little energy they have helping others out of dire situations. In others, like Some days all my shadows are behind me (above), the protagonist’s burdens are obvious but their defiance is unequivocal. Trading on Mills’ background graffiti won’t win this show much in the way of admiration; the artist’s poignant storytelling, however, will do so in spades. Wed to Sat 11am–5pm, until October 3.

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WHAT Jade Pegler: Horary
WHERE Gallerysmith, 170–174 Abbotsford Street, North Melbourne, 9329 1860, gallerysmith.com.au

There’s a feral, impish charm to young Wollongong artist Jade Pegler’s headless bodies, bodiless heads and various papier-mâché, wire and textile beasties. Covering three walls of the secondary gallery space at Gallerysmith, new collection Horary continues her fascination with recasting domestic and everyday objects – minute boxes, doorknobs, cups and the shredded pages of books – into mutated, hairy and somewhat botanical monster-craft. Perhaps not quite as poetic as proposed, this gaggle of little nasties espouses mischievous delight and disquiet in equal measure. Thurs to Fri 11am–5pm, Sat 11am–4pm, until October 3.

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