Matthew Allen: Continue/Repeat? - Art Collector

Untitled IV, 2015. Silkscreen on raw canvas, 100 x 90cm. Courtesy: the artist and Sullivan+Strumpf, Zetland

Allen’s latest body of work is the product of both relocation and reconsideration, a formal shift that expands his area of artistic concern whilst restating previous themes in a new mode. What first appears as a distinct schism from a decade long investigation of a singular painting process reveals, after consideration, familiar concerns and attitudes towards the making and experiencing of the art object.

The series of works are all based on the iteration of a single formal element: an ambiguous ‘image’ that shifts between allusions to natu- ralism and abstraction, but ultimately functions as an open structure for material and process to operate within/upon. There is a subdued expressionism to the works, as gesture is mediated through the device of the silkscreen. The various saturations, smudges and intermix- ing of inks stand as evidence of an active attempt to undermine the assumed function of the silkscreen process: that of precise replication. Here the idea of serial reproduction is condensed into the singular work. The screened image is repetitively stacked upon itself leading to disturbances in the process – a Warholian device that opens an aesthetic space within the system of reproduction.

For Allen repetition is a strategy to evolve subtlety and nuance. Within his repeated image structure, gesture – which here exists as an aggressive pushing/pulling of ink through the silkscreen – and colour are the wild cards which lend each work its experiential character, from weighty, granular earthiness to sleek tonal transitions. Each piece continues a structural dialogue while attending to its own material uniqueness

Exhibition opens: 3-5pm Saturday 1 August 2015
Exhibition closes: 22 August 2015
Location: Sullivan + Strumpf, 799 Elizabeth Street, Zetland NSW 2017
Contact: 02 9698 4696
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