21
Oct
11

Stewart MacFarlane @ Australian Galleries

Stewart MacFarlaneFriday, 21 October 2011

Last night I went to the Collingwood Arts Precinct Open Night, when most galleries within Smith / Peel / Wellington / Derby streets’ perimeter remained open till 9pm. I was rather disappointed with the modest attendance, perhaps due to Melbourne’s unpredictable weather, or perhaps to the fact that most galleries (with the exception of Catherine Asquith) had existing shows on view, the official openings for which had already taken place a few days or weeks prior.

Six venues participated in the event, and I was most interested to see an exhibition or recent works by Stewart MacFarlane at the Australian Galleries. I assume this heralds Stewart’s parting of the ways with his former dealer, Charles Nodrum, with whom he has been for a better part of two decades.

Stewart MacFarlaneThe exhibition contains finished works as well as smaller studies, wherein the artist’s modus operandi is revealed. MacFarlane produces a large body of preparatory studies of nude models, reclining in a variety of poses, their erogenous zones exaggerated and emphasized. His studies also include interior scenes and landscapes, drawn from his immediate environment. Judging from these studies, this peripatetic artist is presently domiciled in Adelaide.

Like a skilful movie director, MacFarlane collates his preparatory sketches into complex psycho-enigmatic mise-en-scenes: nudes by open windows; menacing strangers on rooftops; peaceful-looking suburban street scenes with a violent action taking place almost as an afterthought in the background of the picture.

Stewart MacFarlaneThe whole is executed in bright, lurid colours, a palette which requires a lot of mastery, and in which MacFarlane excels. Luscious reds, succulent greens, sparkling yellows, deep blues and velvety purples are boldly placed side by side, contrasting and bringing out each other’s brilliance. Their vibrant energy is contained, stained-glass like, within thick outlines of black pigment.

MacFarlane belongs to that set of Australian painters who rarely change their subject matter, dominant palette, or style of painting. At the same time, one can hardly decry this ‘sameness’ when the production is consistently good. And if in the past one could detect a certain rush to finish the paintings, which often resulted in poor drawing and slapdash execution of background details, few of such shortcomings (if any) can be detected in this exhibition.

[© Eugene Barilo von Reisberg 2011. Where applicable, images are courtesy of the artists and their galleries.]


1 Response to “Stewart MacFarlane @ Australian Galleries”


  1. November 4, 2011 at 10:05 pm

    Thank you for sharing excellent information. Your site is so cool. I’m impressed by the details that you?ve on this website. It reveals how nicely you perceive this subject. Bookmarked this web page, will come back for more articles. I bookmarked your website: http://artsdiary365.wordpress.com/2011/10/21/stewart-macfarlane-australian-galleries and will check back often. Thanks for the awesome information!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


Eugene Barilo v. Reisberg

October 2011
M T W T F S S
« Jun   Jan »
 12
3456789
10111213141516
17181920212223
24252627282930
31  

Archives

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 102 other followers


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 102 other followers

%d bloggers like this: