Curated by Lorraine Simms for 175 B
This exhibition features works by three contemporary painters, Barry Allikas, Lise Boisseau and Howard Lonn. These artists freely quote the rich language of abstraction to renew strategies of style and approach. Fragments and details of architectural forms, technological components, weather phenomena, well-known paintings and even words become touchstones in new worlds of colour, mark and matter. Like a mirage these clues appear from within the painted surfaces and hover on the periphery of recognition. In these paintings vibrant colour relationships create illusions of space, materiality and physical presence.
Investigating perception through colour and form, Barry Allikas’ paintings resonate with geometric clarity. Stripes of pure colour wrestle, pushing and pulling against the flat surface of the pictorial field. His works belie their stylistic connection to hard-edge abstraction by the inclusion of language. Is this the “lie” referred to in these works? Or, must we search further to discover the truths these paintings propose?
Lise Boisseau’s paintings convey a mysterious, contemplative silence. Painted with rhythmic, controlled marks informed by her knowledge of Chinese calligraphy these works confound our sense of space. Geometric shapes that appear solid as a wall or footpath counterpoint ephemeral passages that evoke atmospheric conditions. Forms shift between recognition and possibility like optical illusions; details of well-known abstract paintings give way to patterns that in turn become architectural shapes and planes.
Howard Lonn’s paintings compress time, gathering references scattered throughout history into slippery narratives. Archaic and contemporary forms are held in precarious balance on their surfaces, while the temperament of his colours evoke lost memories. Paint is dragged, scumbled, washed, dripped and built up over the surface, magically coalescing for a moment to suggest the solidity of a three dimensional form, only to suddenly dissolve back into paint.