From Andrew Frost…
No actual explanation for the meaning of the title of Julian Meaghre‘s exhibition Drinking With The Other Sun is offered to the casual visitor. Conjuring up Ernest Hemingway [there’s a toreador or two in the show] and maybe a smidgen of F. Scott Fitzgerald [drinking, naturally], the bigger clues to the artist’s interest are to be found in the subjects of the work and their treatment.
Meaghre has developed a remarkable facility with oil paint that gives his paintings a sense of vivid transparency perfectly suited to their subject: a sequence of paintings of bottles, containers, jars and a variety of vessels supporting plants and sticks in a variety of classic still life compositions. The most conservative modern still life genre is by definition a utopian vision, a truncated and highly stylised version of reality that concentrates its elements into metaphorical relationships. Meaghre’s often acidic colours upsets that banal utopia for something more like a contemporary vanitas painting suggesting natural mortality in the face of the infinite life of plastics. Meaghre’s large scale suite of such images are contrasted with a sequence of paintings of historical blokes – Wentworth and Bradfield redone for the contemporary age [and the aforementioned toreador jacket worn by some guy] – a beautifully judged arrangement of elements about to disappear.
Until May 10
Olsen Irwin, Woollhara
Pic: Julian Meagher, Always remain, 2015. Oil on linen, 71 x 56cm