The exhibition ‘White on White’ explores the philosophical, poetic associations of the colour white through the work of Melbourne artists Anna Caione and Fiona Halse. Caione and Halse express the synergies and divergences in their approach to abstraction through the process of surface manipulation and gestural expression. Their shared preference for the colour white amalgamates their works yet each artist loads the neutrality of the hue with a diversity of personal meaning that gives rise to a range of intriguing interpretative possibilities.
White is considered by some to be a non-colour, yet its transformational qualities continue to fascinate contemporary artists. White can be purely suggestive or a dominant force informing the intrinsic visual language within an artist’s work. The initiation of the single-coloured artwork termed the ‘Monochrome’ is a fairly recent occurrence of twentieth-century art, with practitioners such as Piero Manzoni, Robert Ryman, Mary Martin and Kazimir Malevich falling into the category of monochromatic painters. Curator Tanya Barson of the Tate’s Painting with White exhibition has noted that the decision for artists to restrict themselves to one colour can open up a rich and versatile area of investigation, with the use of white drawing attention to a variety of techniques, materials, textures, surfaces, structures and forms.
Artists often impose a restrictive palette to enable them to discover a plethora of subtleties and nuances. Robert Ryman, for example, embraced white’s neutrality for its ‘tendency to make things visible’. He suggested that ‘a blank canvas enables an artist to clearly see a mark and celebrate directness and materiality,’ yet a mark on white can also expose the bare essentials posed within the surface of the work and manifested by gestural impulses from the artist’s hand. Kandinsky sensed this multifaceted aspect to white when he claimed it was the ‘harmony of silence’. In his book Concerning the Spiritual in Art he described how the silent or still quality of white resonated for him with ‘the many pauses in music that break the melody temporarily’. (Kandinsky, W, 1977, p. 39).
The exhibition ‘White on White’ is a tribute to Kazimir Malevich and his Suprematist composition: White on White (1918). Whilst the Black Square (1915) is commonly believed to be the ‘first Suprematist painting’ (Lodder, C. 2018, p. 13) and communicates Malevich’s aesthetic theory as the ‘the supremacy of pure feeling or perception in the pictorial arts’ ( MOMA, n.d.).
Malevich referred to White on White as ‘a representation of the transcendent state reached through Suprematism’ (The Art Story, n.d) and marked a shift from polychrome to monochrome. Malevich’s contribution was significant to the development of non-objective and abstract art, which he believed could pave the way to spiritual freedom, a utopian world of pure form and a ‘universal language that would free viewers from the material world.’ (Malevich, K, 1926). Catalogue https://drive.google.com/file/d/1YHQuu0bxFrowTHq6lxSHLWbStQhqo-07/view?usp=sharing
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'Double Take²' by SUSAN BURET opens at West End Art Space in 10 August at 2pm. Meet the artist and view her latest suite of works. This second time at West End Art Space, Susan presents handpainted porcelain with underglaze alongside minimal geometric abstract paintings, creating optical illusions.
'Twixt' by LILIANA BARBIERI opens 10 August at West End Art Space. 'Twixt' is a continuation of Barbieri's long exploration in abstraction and we're looking forward to presenting this solo show to our audience.
West End Art Space proudly presents 'Echo', the latest show by Pamela Rataj.
JULY 19 - AUGUST 4, 2019
‘And further, by contemplating these forms
In the relations which they bear to man,
He shall discern, how, through various means
Which silently they yield, are multiplied
The spiritual presences of absent things’.
- from The Excursion by William Wordsworth
For me, the porous surface of sandstone resonates both timelessness and transition. There is no direction to the ongoing process of change in form and texture, simply openness to the interplay of forces.
On worn leather or wood traces left by past use, echo the presence of a time or a person no longer here. These works explore the merging and coexistence of elements, and the mystery of connection through time.
image, Pamela Rataj, the white piece
apoxysculpt, wire, wood, 177h x 43w x 43d Copyright © 2019 W
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West End Art Space is a contemporary art gallery in Melbourne, Australia. Established in November 2016, through a dynamic exhibition programme, our objective is to showcase and support Australian and International artists and nurture their art practice. We present hardworking, collectable contemporary artists with a long exhibition history. Currently situated at 137 Adderley Street West Melbourne and generously supported by Trenerry Property Group, we excitedly await the completion of the West End Precinct and specifically The Adderley building, where our permanent gallery space will be in 2020.
Image credit- Timothy Burgess
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137 Adderley Street, West Melbourne Victoria 3003, Australia