“When we approached the artists we said we were going to create a bleeding, contaminated show,” says Artspace curator Talia Linz of the gallery’s latest group exhibition, Superposition of three types. “There are no white walls.” The exhibition, which features newly commissioned and recent work from 13 Australian artists, is an explosive, layered exploration of colour abstraction. Co-curated by Linz and Artspace executive director Alexie Glass-Kantor, almost every surface has been licked with vibrant pigment in a collection of various mediums and textures.
“It is very much about the works interacting with each other,” says Linz. The show’s title references superposition – layers overlapping and interrelating.
The first layer is Rebecca Baumann’s Colour Scenario #3, for which the Sydney-based artist has coated the gallery walls in block colours from a range of Dulux house paints. Baumann’s palette includes Scampi (a salmon-y/pink colour), Cowardly Custard, Picture Book Green, Chloride (a minty green), and 12 or so other hues. Other artworks are then layered over the top, creating surprising new textures and perceptions. “[The artists] didn’t necessarily know the colours of the walls before they arrived in the space, so that was a kind of challenge,” says Linz.
Standouts in the show include Huseyin Sami’s torn, painted canvases stretched and draped over wire; a new enamel piece from colour veteran Sydney Ball; and Time after Time [compendium of gestures], Lara Merrett’s rocky landscape of splattered drop sheets.
Additional layers of sound, performance and text add to the experience of colour in this exhibition. Superposition also includes an offbeat, imaginative audio guide by artist Julian Day, a movement piece by dancer Shelley Lasica and an interpretive essay on colourist abstraction from curator and artist Spence Messih.
Superpositon of three types is open at Artspace until April 17.