From Stella Rosa McDonald…
Jude Rae’s paintings and etchings appear to depict containers of volatile and elemental substances like gas and water. Cylinders, bottles and glasses are arranged alongside other random vessels and containers in still life paintings of varying luster. Some of the inanimate objects are viewed through water; a leading motif that suggests the slippery nature of vision is Rae’s central concern.
Rae’s paintings have bands of colour that act as partial borders on the lower half of the picture. These flat bands of colour seem strange—more decoration than depiction—as does the precipitous picture plane on which the objects sit (it is as if they will simply fall off the canvas), but they are in fact areas where Rae has let the canvas interrupt the paint or remain unpainted altogether. These untouched surfaces and the sense of slippage are reminders that what we are seeing is an illusion. The question of surface tension—what lies beneath and within the arrangement of vision—is both Rae’s subject and methodology as she privileges experience over information. To this end, the small series of black and white etchings Rae made at Grey Lady Press in southern NSW attenuate the oils. As a type of shorthand for vision and experience, etching allows Rae to produce an almost simultaneous visual account of her subject. Rae is a highly skilled artist whose work rests on her intellectual and material enquiries rather than her obvious technical abilities. Paintings and Etchings reveals an artist attuned to the fine art of deception and the deception of fine art.
Until October 3
Jensen Gallery, Paddington
Pic: Jude Rae, SL 350, oil on linen, 1225 x 1380 mm. Courtesy the artist and Jensen Gallery, Sydney