Mary RAPHAEL, Deep Outback - Salt Lake Track (no 4, acrylic on canvas, 60 x 60 cm, $ 550)
Mary Raphael’s exhibition of Australian outback landscapes breaks the traditional mould inasmuch as alongside the paintings carried out in the time-honoured red and ochre pigments, Raphael includes a series of works which convey the surprisingly infinite variety of colours revealed by the desert to an inquisitive, inveterate, and observant traveller.
In this sense, the colour palette of Salt Lake Tracks (no 4) injects a new interpretation into the theme of the Australian outback. The painting is filled with grey silvery mists and vaporous pastel tonalities. Delicate brushstrokes of vermillion, turquoise, and lavender graze across the painted surface creating a rhythmic and pulsating environment of shimmering reflections and evanescent vistas. The complex layering of pigments conveys the textured surface of the rugged terrain. The low horizon line injects the painting with the feeling of pathos and majesty experienced within the unfathomable expanse of the Australian outback.
Similarly to Mary Raphael, Jane Wilson utilises richly textured surfaces, but to a totally different end. The breadth and variety of her painterly techniques is abundantly displayed in Deirdre (no 43). The painting is brought into a sharp focus on the right hand side of the composition from whence a child stares at the viewer with an innocent and yet knowingly inquisitive gaze. The smooth layers of thick pigments perfectly convey the tints and textures of the skin; while the scuffling and scraping of paint layers around the girls face are perfectly adapted to conveying the texture and various tints of sun-bleached hair. The near-photo-realistic quality of the girl’s head profiles Wilson’s superior abilities as an accomplished portrait painter.
The photo-realistic perfection of the right-hand-side of the composition is boldly contrasted against the abstracted bouquet of flowers on the left hand side and the overall indeterminate background of rich purples with the underlying flashes of greens and deep blues. The stylistic dichotomy and the close cropping of the child’s head imbue the painting with the feeling of movement and restless spontaneity.
Eva Miller’s works inhabit the world of post-Fauvist constructivism, where shapes and colours are fused together in a perpetual rhythmic dance of patterned undulations. In Mother and Child (no 31), Miller boldly limits her colour scheme to the tonal varieties of reds, greens, and yellows that range from the lurid octaves of light to the Cimmerian darkness of shade. The individual brilliance of separate colours is accentuated by the surrounding structural outlines of darker pigments, which imbue the work with the luminous quality of exquisite stained glass windows.
The exhibitions are current until Saturday, 3 May 2014.
View complete exhibitions online at http://www.quadrantgallery.com.au/