Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Maitland Regional Art Gallery - Linda Greedy

It’s not often I see an exhibition and feel a genuine sense of excitement.  Yes we’re told the art work we should appreciate, the art work that stimulates and transcends.  But so often this work speaks only to a chosen few.  And although I try it doesn’t always speak to me.  On Sunday I had the pleasure of taking a drive to Maitland Gallery.  Of course the Archibald Prize was finishing up and the gallery was awash with people but in a small alcove away from the hustle was a suite of paintings more tempting than even the most brilliant painting in the popular competition.  “Spin” is the title of the exhibition that allows the viewer to wander about sideshow alley without the noise and dust but with all the enthusiasm and anticipation of the spectacle.

The artist plies oil paint in juicy sweeping strokes allowing colour to peek through underlying layers. This is notable in negative space where the use of paint in this manner can so quickly turn murky and unworkable.  Because of the dexterity with the brush however these spaces become as important as the subject matter.  Also of brilliance is juxtaposition, the point in the painting where positive space meets negative or put simply where objects meet air.  That space is deliberate and vivid with contrast affecting a sublime quality.  It’s a moment precious in painting and often not considered.  Where fine line is allowed definition and clarity by the cutting in of contrasting oil is exquisitely effective in these art works.

Regardless of the subject matter the quality of the painting is paramount in this exhibition.  However Linda Greedy resolves form with technical skill and allows the movement of a sideshow to be frozen in that single moment of time before being rapidly relegated to the past.

Kerri Smith
Guest Reviewer

7th February – 12th April 2015

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