Nau mai, haere mai, welcome to EyeContact. You are invited to respond to reviews and contribute to discussion by registering to participate.

JH

Perkins’ Innovative Stretchers

AA
View Discussion
Oliver Perkins, Untitled, 2014, rabbit skin glue, ink, acrylic, tissue, pine and canvas, 470 x 330mm

Some of the dowel works appear to be crooked or lopsided with their central vertical line. So one wonders: did he have lapses and didn't notice? Is he goading the viewer, deliberately being irritating and provocative - in some 'edgy' avant-garde way that you will end up liking him for? Is he making a ‘mistake' deliberately for some wider philosophical or religious reason, like a Hopi sand painter or Afghani rug weaver? Or does he genuinely like the perturbation caused by the texture of some sand in the vaseline - a demurring formalist who somehow choreographs beauty through clenched teeth.

Auckland

 

Oliver Perkins
Armatures

 

15 May - 20 June 2015

This, Oliver Perkins’ second show at Hopkinson Mossman, carries on his investigations of canvas and stretcher, playing against the usual conventions of portable (but permanent) pigment support - his colour carefully chosen via acrylic and ink. With rectangular stretchers leaning against the wall inside carefully prepared outer canvas frames, or with one verso turned recto, or a taut top half with an added thick panel hidden underneath, or with a different same sized stretcher horizontally positioned on top of its vertical twin: Perkins delights in being playfully inventive.

Working in a more domestic sized scale in the tradition of Ellsworth Kelly, Leon Polk Smith or Richard Smith, this artist feels comfortable using only a couple of unmodulated hues, or a wider ranging assortment of randomly coloured patterns cut from the footprint stained and splattered dropcloth on the floor.

Besides also experimenting with physical edges and abrupt or concavely bevelled side profiles, he often makes good use of multi-coloured canvas collage cut from the before-mentioned tarpaulin and rearranged to look like comic panels, and centrally positioned (or not quite central), and vertical (or not quite vertical) lengths of dowel.

The point about the dowel is that Perkins plays on ambiguous interpretation. Some of the dowel works (as in his previous show) appear to be crooked or lopsided with their central vertical line. So one wonders: did he have lapses and didn’t notice? Is he goading the viewer, deliberately being irritating and provocative - in some ‘edgy’ avant-garde way that you will end up liking him for? Is he making a ‘mistake’ deliberately for some wider (cosmic) philosophical or religious reason, like a Hopi sand painter or Afghani rug weaver? Or does he genuinely like the perturbation caused by the texture of some sand in the vaseline, a fly in the ointment - a demurring formalist who somehow choreographs beauty through clenched teeth.

In his last presentation Perkins displayed a continuous line of same sized canvases that wound elegantly at head height around the perimeters of the two galleries. For this current show he exhibits a mixed combination of several sized canvases, trying out different scales. Personally I find it is the smallest of these, with delicate coloured marks, that have the most impact, items like Vessels (2015) and Birk (2014) that on a second visit I’m still really drawn to and am reluctant to leave. These patterns on the dropcloth, cleverly selected and cut out for the upper (non-monochrome) canvas, have an intricacy worthy of a Klee or Bissier.

Of the larger works - that often seem to refer to Ellsworth Kelly because of their monochromatic and diptych structure - the warm yellow and dark purple Untitled (2015) is particularly well resolved with its two surprisingly harmonious planes (aren’t complementary colours meant to grate?) that - enclosed in a dark frame - sing the pleasures of pure chromatic sensation and finely tweaked proportion. Chorister (2014), a middle sized work, plays on the leaned on surface of the wall and the splattered back of the outer wooden stretcher - through the use of the same cocoa brown for both panels.

Because of Perkins‘ range of painterly and relief explorations, this is an enjoyable show that allows you to methodically scrutinise each explorative and nuanced item over a couple of visits. They take time to absorb. Some of the best works - in my view - are the cheapest. A rich range of offerings.

John Hurrell

Print | Facebook | Twitter | Email

 

Recent Posts by John Hurrell

JH
Louise Stevenson, Someplace Else, 2021 (installation view), works on paper, 2000-2019, found materials, mixed media. Commissioned by Te Tuhi, Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland. Photo by Sam Hartnett

Delicate Stevenson Drawings

TE TUHI CENTRE FOR THE ARTS

Pakuranga


Louise Stevenson
Someplace Else


30 May - 22 August 2021

 

JH
Installation of Shaun Waugh's Encounter upstairs at Two Rooms. Photo: Sam Hartnett

Shaun Waugh’s Digital Grafting

TWO ROOMS

Auckland

 

Shaun Waugh
Encounter


4 June - 3 July 2021

JH
Bill Henson, Untitled 1985-86 #106 D, 1985-1986, archival inkjet pigment print, 128 × 100 cm

Henson’s Wondrous Light

Auckland

 

Solo show
Bill Henson: 1985 - 2021


21 May - 19 June 2021

JH
Shahriar Asdollah-Zadeh (with Anna Starr), Faith and Through the Looking Glass Diptych, 2021, pigment inks printed on 310 gsm Ilford Galerie Smooth Pearl, 628 x 830 x 48 mm (framed)

Mediating Symbols and Pure Sensation

TRISH CLARK GALLERY

Auckland

 

Shahriar Asdollah-Zadeh
Light Dot Colour

 

21 May - 26 June 2021