Occasionally our city can feel a little grey – infinite roadworks and building sites, traffic, trains or lack of trains, and urban sprawl. Happily, though, a number of colourful exhibitions are happening in galleries across the city this month, offering a little respite and bringing with it the vibrancy of summer.
Katharina Grosse continues to colour our world with her explosive colour-shock installation at Carriageworks. The mammoth draped canvas acts as colour therapy of sorts. You’re bound to feel something if you step inside what could be described as, basically, a monumental rainbow pillow fort.
If you’re hungry for more hyper-bright inspiration, here are three other shows dialling up the saturation in Sydney this month.
Loop Changes, Loop Begins
Gallery 9 has a new exhibition from Melbourne-based musician and artist Simon Gardam. Called Loop Changes, Loop Begins, the show is a set of vivid abstract paintings – driven by paint in the same sort of vein as Jackson Pollock, though perhaps a little more experimental. Gardam stretches the boundaries of the medium by cutting up canvases, then reassembling and stitching them back together to form new abstractions: awkward, interesting and energised.
There’s an electricity in each jumbled, chaotic canvas. “Made from a strictly improvised basis, the paintings present themselves as intersecting oscillations of colour, form, rhythm and touch,” Gardam says in a statement. While relatively small in size, pieces in the collection like Boo Slap and Together in Electric Dreams are charged with drips and stripes of colour and feeling.
At Gallery 9 until February 17. gallery9.com.au
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Ken Done – New Works
“I think at the time in which we live, art should be more like poetry – it should give you pleasure,” Ken Done told Broadsheet in an interview back in 2014. “Television can shock us each night in our living rooms, but art … is about entertainment.”
While his work can be polarising – considered by some as garish and gaudy at times – not many artists see the colour in Sydney quite as fervently as Ken Done. He’s an artistic icon not to be set aside, and his harbour vistas brilliantly deploy colour to depict emotion in a landscape.
Ken Done loves painting and has never stopped doing it; a selection of his new and recent works are now on show at his eponymous gallery in The Rock. In the show are coloured Sydney scenes: Jacaranda Sea is a harbour in violet hued dusk, while Sydney Saturday Feb is a beach drenched in hot yellow sun. There are also canvases depicting the matchless underwater rainbow of the Great Barrier Reef; a bright blue pastel drawing titled Aquamarine Nude; and another crayon sketch in which the Opera House is royal blue and the Harbour Bridge an electric crimson.
Works are regularly on rotation at the Ken Done Gallery. kendone.com.au
Sullivan + Strumpf’s annual Group Show draws together a stack of recent and archived stockroom works from artists in their stable. There is painting, sculpture, ceramics, installation, photography and collage in this year’s exhibition – all with an outlook that’s kaleidoscopic and, in a sense, optimistic.
See a piece from the inimitable and magical Hiromi Tango (a red neon moon, encircled in layers of her signature cherry-coloured woven thread), and a piece or two from Sydney Ball’s pop-bright geometric Infinex series.
Also on show are some of Glenn Barkley’s intricately adorned, spellbinding vessels; painting from master of colour-shading Tony Clark; colour-blocked collage from Jemima Wyman; and a ceramic bust from Ramesh Mario, dripping in paint and colour and vivacity. There’s also a photograph from Darren Sylvester titled Let Hopes and Dreams Be Things We Can, where a warm green-gold tinge over a desolate icy landscape feels hopeful, even exciting.
At Sullivan + Strumpf until 24 February. sullivanstrumpf.com