From Sharne Wolff…
Born in The Netherlands in 1932, Jan Riske left for Tasmania while still in his teens. A move to Melbourne led to his first experiments in abstraction, a genre with which he’s now familiar after six decades of national and international painting experience. Terrain Series is Riske’s first exhibition since his inclusion in 2009’s Intensely Dutch at the Art Gallery of New South Wales.
Some years ago Riske became interested in the intersection between science and art, once describing himself as “a particle painter”. In Terrain Series his chosen ‘particles’ are generous daubs of multi-coloured paint. Using a small paintbrush Riske plays with opposites, delicately building up thick luscious layers and rows of harmonious colour on (mostly) tiny canvases.While they’re not representations of anything in particular, the results form complex grid-like patterns and incidental abstractions that, depending on the colour, might relate to something else. Despite its small size, the blend of blues and greys splashed with orange and green brights lends Hovering Surface a mesmerising quality and perhaps the appearance of an aerial landscape. Viewed from the side the canvas looks like a birthday cake at a child’s party – bejewelled with gaudy icing and, oh so tempting to touch.
Until June 21
A-M Galllery, Newtown.
Pic: Jan Riske Hovering Surface 2012 Oil on canvas, 30cm x 30cm. Courtesy the artist and A-M Gallery.