This display draws on the key examples of art from the National Gallery collection from 1916 to the present. It considers the early work of the Sydney painter, Grace Cossington Smith, whose self-portrait erodes the solid image in favour of fragmented blues and pinks. The display includes the ‘pure’ abstract paintings of Grace Crowley, in which planes of colour overlap and intersect, and the ‘metaphorical’ abstraction of Lesley Dumbrell, that distils earthly phenomena as rhythmic patterns of light and linear form.
Geometries’ brings together works that dazzle the eyes with colour and form. Using deceptively simple strategies — structuring relationships between the most elementary components of shape, scale and relative sequencing, for the most part described in pure, flat and vibrant colours — the artists behind these arrangements excel in creating mesmerising optical effects. Contemporary in their lively spirit, and sometimes surprisingly classical in their sense of order and proportion, these works are certain to stir the senses.
Lesley Dumbrell, a recognised pioneer of the Australian women’s art movement of the 1970s and a leading exponent of abstraction in Australia, also refers to sound in her work Stridor 1972: ‘stridor’ meaning a harsh, grating noise or the wheezing of an obstructed windpipe. Here, Dumbrell works with a muted palette — unusual given the predilection for bright tones and high contrast employed by many Op painters — and this creates a strange shifting (perhaps rattling) push-pull effect with her subtly angled crossing verticals, which seem to perpetually cross from the foreground to the background. Although Dumbrell is better known for her jazzy system paintings of the late 1970s, as well as the more playful linear and shape paintings of the 1980s that share an aesthetic with the ubiquitous Memphis design group, Stridor is an accomplished early work.
I am delighted that the Art Gallery of NSW has recently acquired a painting from my Melbourne gallery, Charles Nodrum Gallery. It is currently hung alongside several other Lesley Dumbrell paintings which are already held in the AGNSW collection. The exhibition is called “Light and Colour, Moving”. (See my next news post regarding that exhibition.)
The exhibition at Gallery H, Bankok runs until October. I have visited it each time and whenever I go I am still excited to see the sculptural piece and how it constantly changes within the space. The sculpture is suspended from the ceiling which allows it to move, and the subtle shifts in light and the slow movement of air both contribute towards a shadow which plays on the floor and against the wall. I have enjoyed the interaction of the paintings and the sculpture.
At last, the exhibition has opened! A great opening night with loads of people. Many expats as well as some serious Bangkok collectors. Everyone seems happy. The exhibition runs until August 27th so if you find yourself in Bangkok, please drop in. H Gallery, Bangkok, 201 Sathorn Soi, 12, Bangkok, 10500. Open daily except Tuesdays. 10 am to 6 pm, or by appointment.
This visually exhilarating exhibition reveals the astounding contribution Australian women artists have made to abstract art. The exhibition shows a breathtaking passion for colour, shape and rhythm and a dedication to experimentation and conceptual innovation. The works in this exhibition use a remarkable range of media moving through painting, sculpture and applied arts and take audiences on a journey from the early 20th century through to the present day.
In 1965 the Museum of Modern art in new york city staged the highly influential exhibition The responsive eye. The exhibition focused on the dazzling and often mesmerising optical effect of colour and geometric line. To acknowledge the 50th anniversary of this important exhibition, AFTER 65 includes works by a range of australian artists who continue the legacy of op.
image credit: Lesley Dumbrell, Deep Red, 2001, acrylic on canvas, 99 x 198cm.