Daniel Hollier’s new show kicks off my year

  • Categories: Blog
  • Date: 2nd February 2012
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This is the week that the year really begins for me: back to work, back to school. It’s time to get back out there – looking at, thinking about, talking about, art. 
I got the invite to Daniel Hollier’s new body of work at Liverpool St Gallery, with a big geometric bright purple painting on it, & thought ….. this would be a good start for my new blog. I saw some of his work late last year & really liked it & was keeping an eye out for this show.
It is definitely worth checking out. Don’t be put off by geometrics or bright purple.
This work is fresh, vibrant, well crafted & thought through. A terrific show for a not-so-much-emerging-anymore-artist. He’s about 30, has had a couple of respected residencies, been the finalist in a couple of good prizes & been included in a few interesting exhibitions in the past few years. He is quite new to the Liverpool St Gallery group. 
These are not your regular, rectangular stretched canvases. Hollier treats the painting as an object in itself. Odd geometric shapes are crafted to fit together, like a 2D puzzle, to create a new form; a bit like the extraordinary shapes & creases you get when you flatten an interesting box.
His inspiration starts with a found object -a bit of flotsam & jetsam which captures his eye. I think all good artwork has an element of spontaneity or ‘accident’ in it – this is his accidental moment. 
The silhouette of this found object becomes the outline of the final artwork which is broken down into several shapes. The shapes become stretched canvases – all constructed by Hollier – the surfaces are taped to define the pattern, the colours are researched, then the painting begins. And at times there are 46 layers of paint. His is a meticulous & methodical physical & creative process. It’s not new & refers back to the groove of the 60s/ 70s when the likes of Elsworth Kelly  & Frank Stella were creating works which pushed the boundaries of what defined painting and sculpture. (Both are held in the NGA in Canberra or you can see great Stella’s in the foyer of Australia Square in Sydney CBD). But it’s not mimicry as Hollier’s intention is different.
The result is wonderfully dynamic paintings which are intriguing on lots of levels. He calls them ‘narrative’ works rather than hard edge non-objective abstracts: I guess they tell the story of his complete creative approach. 
I fall for green everytime so this one pulled me right in – Camus. It’s quite big  160 x 160cm – & looked fabulous across a large white wall.

Prices have gone up since his first show, but when you’re in demand….
A great start to my year of exploring.

check out online at http://www.liverpoolstgallery.com.au/ or better still, head on in (right next to dedece). Exhibition runs to 23 Feb. Thanks to the artist & photographer Jenni Carter for use of the image.

Also viewed online & worth a virtual visit (or if in Melbourne, a real visit): www.dainesinger.com

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