From Sharne Wolff…
Liverpool Street Gallery kicks off this year’s calendar with a group show from four Sydney-based artists – Seth Birchall, Ryan Hoffman, Mason Kimber and Conor O’Shea. This band of contemporary painters is drawn together through their experience at the National Art School and by some shared ideas. Here they individually embrace “a painterly approach that sits on the borderline between abstraction and image” – a concept reinforced by the metaphysical allusion in the exhibition’s title.
Birchall’s small suite of “constellation” paintings of planets and galaxies are based on film stills and imagery drawn from the net. A mix of blurred sci-fi subjects is interrupted by others with highly coloured striped and gridded backgrounds in O’Shea’s installation of small works. The combination of oil and aerosol paint and a picture reminiscent of palm trees evokes a ’70s feel.
Hoffman and Kimber’s paintings conjure up a kind of deja vu – perhaps you’ve been here in a dream? Hoffman paints in oil on canvas in a half-remembered fashion where sketchy figures are recognisable but otherworldly and ‘dissolved’ (to borrow one of the image titles). Using a more gestural style and brighter palette Kimber’s paintings of incomplete architectural spaces toss valuable clues for the viewer while simultaneously keeping their secrets.
Until February 27
Liverpool Street Gallery, East Sydney
Pic: Seth Birchall, Sunset Painting, 2013 oil on canvas?, 152 x 183cm. Courtesy the artist and Liverpool Street Gallery.