From Sharne Wolff…
Challenging the idea that the frame of an artwork is neither a non-work nor mere ornament, a number of works in Belem Lett’s Tunnel Vision incorporate the frame within the picture. Lett’s bulbous, gaudy surrounds comprised of jelly-like resin or coloured plaster cement explore the boundaries between picture and frame by flipping simultaneously between the essence of each thing. Encircled by these touchable, neo-rococo style borders are oil paintings on aluminium in bright luminescent pinks, blues and yellows.
While this first series uses the idea of the ‘frame within frame’ to create depth and space, Lett continues a similar theme through another group of paintings on aluminium panel. Employing a shifting combination of multi-coloured borders and dark internal spaces, paintings such as Avoid and Vase draw the viewer’s gaze to their inky voids. Other works are characterised by spiralling and looped coloured bands and metallic pastel splodges on shiny gold backgrounds. Apparently inspired by the illusion and decorative excess of baroque ceilings, Lett’s abstracts are contemporised through the application of luminescent paint and glow-in-the-dark pigments. According to the gallery blurb, there’s added drama when the paintings are viewed at night, as “each work contains a secondary, silent painting within.”
Until October 17
Gallery 9, Darlinghurst
Pic: Belem Lett Avoid (detail), 2015?oil, luminescent pigment?on aluminium composite panel 60 × 44 cm. Courtesy the artist and Gallery9.