Posts Tagged ‘West Space


Dane Lovett @ West Space, Melbourne

Dane Lovett - Installation View @ West Space, MelbourneThursday, 16 December 2010

Dane Lovett @ West Space, Melbourne

One of the joys of going to galleries such as West Space, which tends to exhibit younger artists, is witnessing the emergence and progress of a new generation of Australian talent. Dane Lovett has been gradually forging a strong career path, exhibiting in experimental yet respected art spaces such as First Draft, TBC, and Linden. His paintings, which are instantly recognisable for their painterly style, fluid brushwork, and sharp, laconic, and perhaps self-referencing narratives, have been popping up in a number of serious art prizes, such as Gold Coast’s Duke Prize, Metro Prize, RBS Emerging Artist and the Arthur Guy Memorial Painting Prize, showing a wider recognition for this artist’s work.

Dane Lovett - Still Life 1His current exhibition at the West Space features still lifes of potted plants and flowers in glass vases and jars, resting atop of CD covers and vinyl LPs, old television sets and outmoded stereo equipment. The whole is painted rather exquisitely and in lively colours, and his rendition of illusory space and distortion of objects as seen through water is quite masterly. Music albums and stereos which proliferate through Lovett’s paintings are no doubt in reference to his own interest in music and the ubiquitous role it plays in his life. However, these paintings do make one feel quite old. Vinyls and CDs, which were so much a part of one’s adolescence and young adulthood, are now increasingly replaced by MP3 digital players, and the only way to use them nowadays is as coasters or doilies; just like the old-fashioned music equipment and vintage television sets that can only be used as decorative props, or indeed, as pot-plant stands.

The generational change and the constant development of technology are expressed in these paintings subtly yet as poignantly as Ricky Swallows turntables and gameboy sculptures of the early naughties. The juxtaposition of these objects against broken pot plants and cut flowers further emphasises the messages of impermanence and transience in Lovett’s art.

Dane Lovett - Double Feature 1

[© Eugene Barilo von Reisberg 2010. This article is copyright, but the full or partial use is WELCOME with the full and proper acknowledgement.]


Simon MacEwan @ West Space

Simon MacEwen @ West Space Installation View 2010

Friday, 13 August 2010

West Space is a funky gallery on the north-western fringe of the CBD, which provides an important forum for young emerging multi-media and inter-disciplinary artists, reflective of the visual plurality of contemporary Australian art. An installation by Simon MacEwan, The Devil’s Mountain, occupies one of the exhibition spaces. It includes sculptures, furniture, lighting, and watercolours. The choice of the latter is interesting from the point of view that watercolour seems to be the preferred medium of the younger generation.

MacEwan’s technically superior abilities with this tricky and complex medium are quite astounding and are perhaps due to his background in jewellery-making, which requires precision and minute attention to detail. One set of watercolours features a dense autumnal park with large, mysterious hexagonal or octagonal objects, which are reminiscent of either alien space ships or architectural follies. Their incongruous placement within landscape setting seems to juxtapose (perhaps intentionally) the natural, physical world and analytical, geometry-based, man-made constructions. [$1,200 each]

Simon MacEwan

Another remarkable work in this installation is a 6ft+ watercolour of a skeleton, completely overgrown with – and covered in – emerald-green moss, plants, sprouting wild flowers, and hoisting a bird on its left hand [$3,000]. As has been noted in these pages so many times before, we have witnessed an explosion in fascination with the symbolism of death in contemporary Australian art, especially among the younger artists. Partly it is an “in” thing to do right now, but I am certain it would be absolutely fascinating to investigate further this dark preoccupation.

[© Eugene Barilo v. Reisberg 2010. This article is copyright, but the full or partial use is WELCOME with the full and proper acknowledgment]

Eugene Barilo v. Reisberg

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