From Andrew Frost…
In Paul Snell’s show Chromophobia the artist has taken on a complex task: questioning the image as a self-referential object. The works in the show are colourful and large, most are rectangular with two circular and two square pieces. Their titles offer few clues on how we’re meant to interpret their meaning – Lull, Trace and Drift – and with their densely arranged stripes there’s a suggestion that these patterns have been made with computers, or perhaps capture some kind of movement, like a time-lapse photograph or a vector diagram. Everything else is just guesswork.
The abstract image, like the abstract painting or sculpture, is a strange object. There’s the meaning we associate with them – decorative patterns or spiritually significant mandalas perhaps – and that meaning is associative. How much of the meaning of these works is inherent to the object itself? An educated guess might be none -we can simply enjoy these works for the optically dazzling fields they present. Or maybe they do have some inherent meaning, and it’s our job to work it out. Either way, Snell’s exhibition achieves what it sets out to do.
Until June 1
Rex-Livingston Art Dealer, Surry Hills.
Pic: Paul Snell, Pulse, 2013. Lambda metallic print, face mounted plexiglass, 120 x 120cm. Courtesy Rex-Livingston Art Dealer.