From Andrew Frost…
In Amber Wallis’s Flipping The Slip with Gallery 9, what is up and down is entirely uncertain. In this series of new canvases the loose and gestural playfulness for which her painting has become known is in abundance, a tangled but apparently logical array of lines, patches of colour and schematic objects – trees, clouds and aircraft – giving the paintings the appearance of a landscape. This tension between abstraction and figuration is the artist’s trump card. But for this group of works the painter has inverted many of the pictures so that although the pictures may have been painted in one orientation, they’re hung in another.
Wallis’s interest in landscape painting has been a strong element of her work, and with the almost impossible-to-resist desire to decode these abstractions into something representational, the viewer is caught up in the overall effect of the works while perhaps overlooking the careful and almost architectural nature of their construction. Wallis’s paintings have a logic to them that is reminiscent of the work of Ken Whisson in the creation of blocks of ground and colours divided by lines, and Wallis likes to leave sections of untouched canvas much like that master of the fragmented landscape. But where Wallis is undeniably her own artist is in her use of colour, a bold and adventurous blend of all the right stuff.
Until November 30
Gallery 9, Darlinghurst
Pic: Amber Wallis, Palm / submerged elbow 2013. Oil on canvas 150 x 150 cm.