I’ll Be Your Mirror

Art Life , Exhibitions Oct 24, 2014 No Comments

From Andrew Frost

The lyrics to The Velvet Underground song from which Jon Cattapan‘s latest exhibition takes its title begins “I’ll be your mirror / Reflect what you are – in case you don’t know…” – a song about the inability to see clearly, an offer to act as the translater of reality for the viewer. In Cattapan’s work this translation of the external world on to canvas and paper has been a process inflected with a sense of technological mediation, from scan lines and dot points to the night vision greens and blues of recent canvases.


After a residency in Italy – thanks to his 2013 win of the Bulgari Art Award – Cattapn presents two series of works: the first, based on his time in Rome, are five large-scale pictures each titled Eternity . The second series are works on paper arising from a print making residency at the Scuola Internazionale di Grafica. While there are some notable changes in colour and palette in both series of works, Cattapan’s signature effects – the layering of imagery, the trace lines of schematic figures and topography – remain. For the viewer the exact meaning or relationship between the figures in the works, or indeed between the imagery across the body of work, remains ambiguous. What is definite, however, is Cattapan’s ability to give this world a sense that it’s somehow a world that was waiting to be seen. We only needed the artist’s eyes to see it for us.

Until November 15
Dominik Mersch Gallery, Rushcutters Bay
Pic: John Cattapan, Masked Group (Figure) XXXVI, Monoprint series, 2014, 40x40cm.

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Andrew Frost

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