Peter Tyndall

Art Life , Exhibitions Dec 14, 2012 No Comments

From Andrew Frost

In the mid-1970s or thereabouts Peter Tyndall began his lifelong project of making paintings about paintings. Along the way he extended the limits of the painting into outline until there was little more than the canvas stretcher, or it was tethered like a marionette to a cross bar, or became a guitar, or was just a kind of description. Tyndall used elements or abstractions of other artists works in his paintings, reused line drawings from cartoons and comic strips, included elements of hand writing or large swathes of printed texts such as poems, and made apparent the fetishized presentation of paintings in museums, his signature logo – the square with the two short lines extending above – is a schematic presentation of the hanging picture. And in every instance his work has used the same title structure with one identifying line included to differentiate one picture from the hundreds [thousands?] of other works with almost identical titles.

At Anna Schwartz is a retrospective of Tyndall’s paintings dating back to 1974 and what is stunning about the show is the artist’s unwavering commitment to the project. There are period markers in the works giving the viewer a sense that while the project doesn’t change, the artist isn’t averse to absorbing the zeitgeist into the sequence. The early paintings have the feel of a stricter kind of conceptual painting typical of the ‘70s, whereas the ‘80s pictures have the Pop vibe of appropriated Americana kitsch illustration, then a more sedate 90s style until the most recent picture from 2010 is, ironically perhaps, unlocatable except for a well mannered style one might almost call ‘corporate-esque’. Tyndall’s work skirts the edges of redundancy with a knowing irony and a playful acknowledgement of the limitations of the project, yet what is often unremarked is aside from the conceptualist hijinks, the artist is a dab hand at design. May the logo never die.

Until December 22
Anna Schwartz Gallery, Carriageworks, Redfern.
Pic: Peter Tyndall detail, A Person Looks At A Work Of Art/someone looks at something…. LOGOS / HA HA. Medium A Person Looks At A Work of Art/ someone looks at something… CULTURAL CONSUMPTION PRODUCTION, 2010. Oil on linen, 152 x 183 cm.

Andrew Frost

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