Saturday, August 10, 2019

White on White: Anna Caione & Fiona Halse at West End Art Space

Fiona Halse, Afon, 2019, mixed media on canvas, 100x100 cm

White on White: Anna Caione & Fiona Halse

August 28 - September 1, 2019

West End Art Space
137 Adderley Street
West Melbourne VIC 3003

From the Press Release:

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 Kazmir 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.

The exhibition 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’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).


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