Saturday, August 27, 2011

Annette Bezor at Harrison Gallery - 27 August

Unlike my better half my own postgraduate studies were a little more prosaic than art history, so I am always chuffed when I can pick an influence at 50 yards. The newest show at Harrison Galleries caught my eye on the trek up to five ways. So we were off to have a look see at "Lookers", showing work from Annette Bezor.

"Tretchikoff?" says I to the gallerina. I didn't really need to hear the confirmation (we have a vintage Tretchikoff print stashed in the attic waiting to decorate my tiki bar) as "her appropriated and reworked figures" mostly lean to the appropriated. Although I guess cropping and blowing up to sizes of 140cm x 140cm or even 165cm x 165cm counts as reworking. My favourites were when Annette has put in a unique touch, like when she "overlays them with translucent bands of colour to mask their characters and turn their portraits into abstract paintings", like in Face Value 3 (above), 4, or 6 (all $15k) or Mocha Sunset ($27k, from 2009). I also really liked Singapore Slang ($22k) which skews and distorts probably one of the most iconic of Vladimir's exotic Chinese ladies. The image that Shadowlands borrows from appeals but then I always question why a work from 2008 still hasn't sold (its available for $22k). Sometimes the reason can be good ("its just too challenging for conventional tastes" is a favourite dealer line), but this piece was one of the blander entries so I am guessing everyone feels the same. Will be interesting to check back if they can move it.

Points - 3 for Face Value 3, 2 for Mocha Sunset and 1 to Singapore Slang (pictured left). Now I really liked a lot of the work in this show but my collecting rule of thumb is to try and avoid buying artists that are older than me (this leaves quite a field of emerging artists, that gets bigger every year). If you didn't know Annette had been round a few years the gallery does provide helpful clues, such as the reasonably high prices listed above and a CV that, while truncated, does include an award from the 70's. But if someone wants to buy me a present then I wouldn't say no. These would look great in a tiki bar ...

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