Saturday, February 5, 2011

Hugh Ford at Iain Dawson gallery - 5 February

Well it pays to be local.  On a sweltering summer day here in Sydney this art lover wasn't travelling very far, especially with his youngest art critic strapped into the baby bjorn for her afternoon walk.  So down Oxford street it was to check out Hugh Ford's solo show at the Iain Dawson gallery.

Iain himself was again on deck and so was able to provide a great context to the show, Hugh's 3rd with the gallery.  I liked that for the most part (14 out of 16) the canvasses are of uniform size which really lets you choose your favourite image without size entering the equation.  Hugh's style is very recognizable - strong line drawings with interesting colours and no faces on the people.  His subjects are virtually all in absurd situations which appeals to my sensibilities.  I liked the guys on BMXs - they even had tough plastic wheels which is very close to home for this former BMX bandit.  It was interesting to see what had already sold, a couple of the stronger pieces like 'Vintage underwater enthusiasts - Helsinki chapter' and 'Naval Gazing' but also a few pieces I didn't care for like 'Broomstick limbo' and 'the unwelcome trumpeteer'.  Hugh is very lucky to count monocle magazine publisher (and one of Big Lamington's favourite people) Tyler Brule as a collector.  He had picked up one from each end of the spectrum, but I guess he has plenty of offices and homes to stash them in.

3 to "the Fantasy Dress Piano Hour" (above), a little more out there and very absurd; 2 to First Place in the Competition of Awesome, the painting is nearly as good as the title! And 1 point to "Wearing Shorts to a Showdown" (below left), on first glance nothing but then you get it - for some reason it reminds me of college!

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