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unmersion

October 13 - 31, 2020

 
 
front gallery - installation view
front gallery installation view - Grave Mistake, Swamp and Flood 
 
front gallery - installation view
front galley installation view - Sea Mind 1 and Grave Mistake
 
In unmersion, the shallow space of painting rubs up against the direct and physical intervention of sculpture. Fascinating that Tjalling de Vries, painter, should have recourse to such heavy lifting. Cleaving, raising, then placing a one-and-a-half-ton slab of concrete floor to reveal round stones beneath is quite something. Though massive, it looks drop dead elegant and feels delicate even.
 
Tjalling’s paintings are always finely calibrated objects. The fundamentals of painting – stretcher, support and mark-making – are increasingly manipulated to allow light and form to play not only on surface, but also in the shallow space between paint skin and wall. Transparency is important. So in the Sea Mind paintings we revel in the ability to see through and beneath. Reemay, a stable durable polyester, is the ground for these smaller paintings. It admits light into the realm of stretcher and wall beneath – enabling colour from printed impressions of wood grain and corrugated cardboard to resonate quietly within. At times the wood stretchers are also coloured, which adds further luminosity.
Similar painterly concerns inform Tjalling’s sculptural works. In Grave Mistake, the drama of displacement is obvious, but the feeling is of lightness and precision. The 'gestural' marks, important throughout the Sea Mind paintings, are predominantly light in tone and energise the edges from printed image to stretcher. They look of the hand, but are in fact masked and almost mechanically layered in their density. Still, they are lively and rhythmical in feel. (The mechanical aspect to Tjalling’s mark-making is a constant – witness the carefully repeated drip lines in both Flood and Swamp, for example.)
 
back gallery - installation view
back gallery installation view - Sea Mind 2, 3, 4, 5, 7 and 8
 
front gallery - installation view
front gallery installation view - Swamp and Flood
 
Playing (in the back gallery) alongside the smaller paintings is Reicharm, a kinetic sound and light work – titled with thanks to musician Steve Reich. The clicking of car indicators synchronized with circles of light plays across the wall. The evolving rhythms, sequencing and syncopation are mesmerizing. The repetition feels both ordered and not. The visual cadence is all but musical.
 
back gallery - installation view: Reicharm
back gallery installation view - Reicharm
 
Unmersion is a revelation. Hard not to be immersed in Tjalling de Vries’s considered use of space, and in the ease of his ability across a range of materials and scale. This is a vocabulary of art generous in scope, but focused on the gentle and telling reveal.
JS
 
 

Selected works

Please hover over image to see title...

 

Swamp
 
 
 
Flood
 
 
 
Sea Mind 1
      Sea Mind 6
 
Sea Mind 3
     Sea Mind 2
 
Sea Mind 5
     Sea Mind 4
 
Sea Mind 7
      Sea Mind 8
 
 
 
Reicharm - detail
      Reicharm - detail 
 

 

List of works

Grave Mistake       Jonathan’s floor       2200 x 1900mm       poa

Swamp       acrylic and enamel on canvas       2200 x 1900mm       $12,000

Flood       acrylic and enamel on canvas       2200 x 1900mm       $12,000

Sea Mind 1 - 8       acrylic on reemay       650 x 550mm       $3100 ea

Reicharm       steel & electronic components, dimensions variable       $7600

All works are from 2020
Prices include GST

 

 

Tjalling installing Reicharm
Tjalling installing Reicharm in the back gallery