From Andrew Frost…
A double header at the Sarah Cottier Gallery pits the sublime with the ridonculous, depending of course on your point if view. Upfront is Matthys Gerber’s self-tilted show of big paintings that are colourful battles between Nike-style swooshes, splats and curlicues, all delivered with the artist’s trademark bravura. Where Gerber’s work once had the patina of provocation, his work has now taken on an almost classical attitude, at once casual and insouciant, but also indifferent and timeless, like a Roman column of good taste standing above the madness of the fall of empire.
Out the back of the gallery is Tony Schwensen’s Creationism Triptychs [Notes on Idiocracy], a collection of black and white prints of monkeys, test pilots and old art, amongst which are hung flat screen televisions where the artist performs with socks in his ears and bush ranger beard that is both scary and alluring. The titles of these new works have taken on a Frank-ian descriptiveness, the shortest of which reads Creationism Triptych IV (Eugenics and Art History) The Mother of Joseph Beuys, The Father of Mike Parr, The Son of Matthew Barney (Lazy American Conceptualism). Schwensen definitely has a bee in his bonnet about something.
Until July 13
Sarah Cottier Gallery, Paddington
Pic: Matthys Gerber, Pump, 2013. Oil on canvas, 190 x 300cm.