Flag

From Carrie Miller...

Archie Moore is one of those artists whose work is so good it almost seems to have been conjured from another place. Which makes sense when you meet the charismatic, laconic, and slightly enigmatic artist. Making continually exceptional work that spans the fields of painting, drawing, sculpture, installation, photography and video seems to come almost too easily too him. His latest show at the Commercial, Flag, is the perfect example of how Moore, as if by magic, creates something remarkable from nothing.

What he’s actually done is built up a skin of acrylic paint by using a technique similar to reverse glass painting; painting a sheet of rubber until the image is built up to the paintings you see in the show. Like everything about Moore’s practice, these works have lots of layers to them. From the removal of the usual support structures that would bolster a convention Western painting – perhaps symbolising both a non-Western mode of art making as well as the lack of support given to Aboriginal people – to the witty ways in which he appropriates the symbols of other ideological systems on to the Aboriginal flag.

The real strength to Moore’s practice lies in the fine calibration he achieves between the conceptual and material elements in his work. Unlike many of his contemporaries, he’s not heavy-handed with his politics, resulting in a quiet potency to his work which will no doubt have a much more powerful effect in the long term. One of its enduring themes is the singular experience of being in one’s own skin and the inability to imaginatively extrapolate from your own experience to someone else’s. The works in Flag literally embody this idea.

Until December 1
The Commercial, Redfern
Pic: Archie Moore, Aboriginal Left, 2012, acrylic on nothing, 84.00 x 95.00 cm. Courtesy of the artist and the Commercial, Sydney.


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