Collectively titled 'Narcissus', this exhibition by Adelaide painter James Cochran brings together portraits of the artist, streetscapes, drag queens and the homeless as reoccuring motifs of inner city life. Dani Marti, 'Variations in a serious black dress'. Muted, sober and visually commanding, Marti's suite of five monochromatic wall works based on the constructivist black square, quietly inhabit the exhibition space like a minimalist shrine.
Collectively titled 'Narcissus', this exhibition by Adelaide painter James Cochran brings together portraits of the artist, streetscapes, drag queens and the homeless as reoccuring motifs of inner city life. His inspiration for the work developed during a three month residency at Artspace, Woolloomoloo in 2002.
Exploring the idea of self image Cochran portrays himself on his hands and knees entranced by his own reflection in a puddle on the footpath outside St. James Station.
While addressing the Greek myth of the beautiful youth who fell in love with his own reflection 'Narcissus' offers a compelling and provocative look at ourselves by focusing on the excessive, obsessive, and erotic other.
In the Image:'The Invalid Series' 1998, Oil on Canvas, 105 x 65 cm
Opening Wednesday 26th March 6 - 8 pm
*PLEASE JOIN US AFTERWARDS AT THE PADDINGTON BOWLING CLUB*
Exhibition 26 March - 26 April
Variations in a serious black dress
Muted, sober and visually commanding, Dani Marti's suite of five monochromatic wall works based on the constructivist black square, quietly inhabit the exhibition space like a minimalist shrine. On closer inspection however, these restrained and elegant constructions appear more like gigantic fabric swatches. Each artwork is composed of thick industrial ropes, which have been hand-woven into rhythmic abstract patterns and stretched over protruding wooden frames, their tactile surfaces both painterly and sculptural. The viewer becomes immersed in the rich sensuality of their textures as the intellect engages with their cool formal abstraction.
This Spanish-Australian artist has developed a near obsessional fixation with the woven rope, combining his life-long enthusiasm for the traditional practice of weaving with a strong commitment to modernist design. The works create a subtle interplay between object and surface, inviting the spectator to delight in their rough hewn tactility as well as the rhythmic order of their construction, with each work operating according to a particular coded pattern.
In the process, the artist creates artworks which are as seductive to the eye as they are conceptually challenging. Operating on multiple levels and employing a wide visual vocabulary, these black monochromes are dramatic and baroque in mood, rather than melancholic, inspired by fabrics used in the paintings of Spanish masters such as Goya and Velazquez. And just in case these Variations in a Serious Black Dress' strike a tad too serious a tone, Mad Babe', hung over the stairwell leading into the exhibition, injects a jolt of energy; its twisted tangle of white ropes are woven into an exuberantly chaotic pattern, in sharp relief to the calm order of the constructions below.
Marti regularly freights in reams of custom made rope which he imports from Spain, his passion for his materials and medium verging on the fetishistic. This also extends to the playful sexuality underlying his works, his tied and knotted ropes titillating the viewer like simulated acts of bondage.
Above all, Marti's skilful manipulation of these manufactured fibres, blending traditional craft practices with minimalist art, have resulted in visually sophisticated and inherently beautiful constructions that operate as both sensuous textiles, with a sly libidinous edge, as well as meditative abstract sculptural reliefs.
Opening Wednesday 26th March 6- 8 pm
Exhibition 26 March - 26 April
gitte weise gallery
56 Sutherland Street