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Jonny Niesche Installation

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Jonny Niesche, Poikilos, installtion view, Starkwhite, November 2020. Photo: Sam Hartnett Jonny Niesche, Poikilos, installtion view, Starkwhite, November 2020. Photo: Sam Hartnett Jonny Niesche, Poikilos, installtion view, Starkwhite, November 2020. Photo: Sam Hartnett Jonny Niesche, Poikilos, installtion view, Starkwhite, November 2020. Photo: Sam Hartnett Jonny Niesche, Poikilos, installtion view, Starkwhite, November 2020. Photo: Sam Hartnett Jonny Niesche, Poikilos, installtion view, Starkwhite, November 2020. Photo: Sam Hartnett Jonny Niesche, Poikilos, installtion view, Starkwhite, November 2020. Photo: Sam Hartnett Jonny Niesche, Poikilos, installtion view, Starkwhite, November 2020. Photo: Sam Hartnett Jonny Niesche, Poikilos, installtion view, Starkwhite, November 2020. Photo: Sam Hartnett

In the gallery space the other distinction is the blurry aura or coloured corona in the paintings that dominates the righthand side, the disturbing hovering out-of-focus blobs; and on the left, the crisp sharpness of the vertical mirror edges that slice through the bleary artificial aether generated by the floor and walls: the unnerving acuity. The white-out is ‘rattling' enough on its own, but its discombobulating effects are accentuated by these spatially lopsided tensions.

Auckland

 

Jonny Niesche
Poikilos


17 November - 15 December 2020

In this spectacular installation Australian artist Jonny Niesche has devised a clever immersive show of three large pulsing florid paintings (you could call them ‘psychedelic Rothkos’), four mirrored free-standing columns, a large moving suspended mirrored diamond, and a white floor. The works explore gradations of chromatic saturation, especially on the opposite sides of the square cross-sectioned columns.

Even so there is an all-pervading cool whiteness that acts as an effective hazy foil for the cool Peter Max-style pastel hues on the columns, and the hot ochre, orange or crimson frames that enclose the charcoal centres of the stretched printed voile (but backless) paintings.

The mirrored columns are on one side of the large space, and the three paintings on the other. The gallery visitor moves back and forth, seeing themselves and bits of multiple artworks reflected in fragmented vertical slivers. Often there is a Magritte-like ‘double-take’ going on where coloured planes you see directly are repeated, reflected from the column backs also of printed voile. With the backless paintings on the long wall, the fact that light is reflected off the white gallery walls and bounced forward through the printed gauze really creates impact. The colour glows intensely.

On the other side of the room, the spinning mirrored diamond (one side coloured) introduces an unpredictable element, capturing wider reflected vistas than the narrow columns, and confusing the viewer with its rapidly turning movement.

In the gallery space the other distinction is the blurry aura or coloured corona in the paintings that dominate the righthand side, the disturbing hovering out-of-focus blobs; and on the left, the crisp sharpness of the vertical mirror edges that slice through the bleary artificial aether generated by the floor and walls: the unnerving acuity. The white-out is ‘rattling’ enough on its own, but its discombobulating effects are accentuated by these spatially lopsided tensions.

Entering this Niesche show reminds you of the sixties with its hippie flower-power colour, or the pristine white set of Kubrick’s 2001 Space Odyssey. There’s nothing grungy here. If you are into optical purity, or chromatic exhilaration, it is a pleasure to behold and experience.

John Hurrell

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