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

JH

Slyly Complex Cooke Paintings

AA
View Discussion
Will Cooke, Every Wall Is A Door (Gate), 2020, primer and acrylic on aluminium, 1216 x 1016 mm Will Cooke, Every Wall Is A Door, installation view, Starkwhite, January 2021. Photo: Sam Hartnett Will Cooke, Every Wall Is A Door, installation view, Starkwhite, January 2021. Photo: Sam Hartnett Will Cooke, Every Wall Is A Door, installation view, Starkwhite, January 2021. Photo: Sam Hartnett Will Cooke, Every Wall Is A Door, installation view, Starkwhite, January 2021. Photo: Sam Hartnett Will Cooke, Every Wall Is A Door, installation view, Starkwhite, January 2021. Photo: Sam Hartnett Will Cooke, Every Wall Is A Door, installation view, Starkwhite, January 2021. Photo: Sam Hartnett Will Cooke, Every Wall Is A Door, installation view, Starkwhite, January 2021. Photo: Sam Hartnett

The works' individual subtitles (in brackets) reference building exteriors and interiors, terms such as such as corridor, pathway, gate, alleyway, gate, frame, apartment and hinge. Some of the images clearly reference these. Despite this, the crisscrossing vectors emphasise the picture-plane; your eye is not sucked towards the wall. There is no deep receding space. Just fleeting hints.

Auckland


Will Cooke
Every Wall is a Door


15 January 2021 - 9 February 2021

Australian artist, Will Cooke‘s first New Zealand show features nine black, white and grey abstractions that use grids of aluminium metal circles that float in front of architectural configurations of vertical, diagonal and horizontal edges—some soft and fuzzy (from an airbrush); others severe, hard and sharp. In scale the vertical rectangles have sufficient impact to affect you bodily. They suit the large Starkwhite downstairs space perfectly.

The works’ individual subtitles (in brackets) reference building exteriors and interiors, terms such as such as corridor, pathway, gate, alleyway, gate, frame, apartment and hinge. Some of the images clearly reference these. Despite this, the crisscrossing vectors emphasise the picture-plane; your eye is not sucked towards the wall. There is no deep receding space. Just fleeting hints.

With the dull silver metal discs—the works are painted on aluminium so that the unpainted circles peek through—their tone subtly changes according to the reflecting angle of the light. Like the angular ‘scaffolding’ behind them, they radiate instability. All the lines are dead straight, apart from the edges of the nine hovering circles, yet often they appear to bend. Some diametrically opposed corners disappear into mist.

Because of their theatrical use of illuminating light and impenetrable darkened form, and symmetry that turns them into chunky glyphs, these dramatic industrial paintings—with spiky shapes—have a fetishistic quality: they seem to be vibrating living entities. The angular forms seem inhabited.

Part of the motivation for these optically compelling creations is Will Cooke’s admiration for the great modernist designer and architect Jean Prouvé. Cooke has found inspiration in the Ralph Waldo Emerson quote he uses as a title and a link to Prouvé. One of Prouvé’s trademarks is a grid of cut-out circles on a light metal wall.

Cooke’s dynamic arrangements of black and white triangles—set behind the discs—organised in piercing acuity with tremulous edges and competing compositional halves, are more than just examples of design that is visually satisfying. There is a restless turbulent energy revolving around the nine flickering and bobbing dots that demands attention, that keeps you locked in with full ocular and mental absorption.

John Hurrell

Print | Facebook | Twitter | Email

 

Recent Posts by John Hurrell

JH
Luca Nicholas, Grindr Study #12, 2017, intaglio on Fabriano Artistico paper, 765 x 560 mm; image 395 x 395 mm.

Grindr goes Intaglio

VISIONS

Auckland

 

Luca Nicholas
Studies 2017 - 18

 


11 February - 20 March 2021

JH
Paul Johns, BEEN HERE LONG? 2020, rocks, neon, transformers, wood, acrylic and stainless steel, 905 x 1455 x 1085 mm

Paul Johns Exhibition

VISIONS

Auckland

 

Paul Johns
Been Here Long?



11 February - 20 March 2021

JH
Installation of Denis O'Connor's 'Double Kiss' at Two Rooms. Photo: Sam Hartnett

O’Connor, Theatre and Beckett

TWO ROOMS

Auckland

 

Denis O’Connor
Double Kiss


5 February - 6 March 2021

JH
Gideon Rubin, Untitled, 2020, detail, oil on linen, 51 x 46 cm

Gideon Rubin Paintings

FOX JENSEN MCCRORY

Auckland

 

Gideon Rubin
We Thought It Was Heaven Tomorrow


4 February - 13 March 2021