Here are some micro reviews of current small exhibitions in small galleries. Some of galleries have only opened recently.
Gallery One Three only opened this year and is run by Joe Flynn; I first wrote Joseph Flynn’s too-cool-for-art-school attitude in a blog post back in 2009. Gallery One Three is a one-room art gallery downstairs from a fashion boutique – Joe says that it is a good mix.
“The Subtleties of Form” was a group exhibition by three artists. Pippa Makgill’s installation floor sculptures were deliberate and studied ugly; expanded foam, painted grey seriously ugly (but not as much fun as the ugly art of Valentina Palonen). Kimberly Denson’s series of small paintings were seriously beautiful in a contemporary minimalist way. And Simon Gardam’s three paintings, “The Bald Wanderer” parts 1-3, were somewhere in between the two – I liked the black one.
Kreisler Gallery is a very new gallery beside a kind of laneway café in Brunswick. It has one big well light white space with a high ceiling – it is still empty apart from open painting a taster for their exhibition next week. A corridor off this space is the Dirty Little Gallery, an “erotic fine art gallery” currently with “Polarudes” an exhibition found images by notable, Auckland based Pop artist, Paul Hartigan. Melbourne does need a dedicated erotic art gallery and the tight space will be an interesting and potentially erotic to navigate at a crowded exhibition opening.
Tinning Street Presents is two years old and to commemorate this is showing “Boabs & Boondies” by Joel Wynn Ress at Tinning Street Presents. Joel Wynn Ress was the first artists to exhibit at Tinning Street. “Boabs & Boondies” is a photography exhibition of objects – there is a selection of the objects on little shelves on the gallery wall. The objects are intended to refect Australia: a carved boab pod, a 1 dollar note, the boondies (slang for sand that has caked together). The photography looks too much like catalogue photography for my taste.
The veteran of this group of galleries, Brunswick Arts Space currently has four artists currently exhibiting.
Heidi Tatchell had created almost invisible minimalist art with “Clear View”. Tatchell’s work is in the realm of the ultra-thin, applying clear tape and contact adhesive to the white gallery walls. The strips of tape create great, stripped images that you can almost see.
“Follow the Line” is an exhibition of four drawings where Cameron Hibbs takes a minimal approach to drawing the max. In two of the drawings a biro has drawn a series of densely packed lines millimetre by millimetre down the page. There is a hypnotic intensity to all of these lines.
Sarah Thomson’s exhibition, “Clean Break” is a series of paintings of words in acrylic paint on canvas. Big words against a black ground: “Kindness” “Without” “Sincerity”… And I didn’t think much of Dea Russo’s exhibition “Shaping Emptiness” in the Brunswick Arts Project Space.