Saturday, July 9, 2016

Jonny Niesche at Minerva - 9 July

And kicking off the 2016 posts is an old favourite of the Big Lamington, Jonny Niesche.  He has a solo show on at Minerva Gallery until 23 July.  I managed to duck in whilst on my way to the Bourke St Bakery (where the spiced quince cake comes highly recommended!).  I'm ready for this Jonny.  Dazzle me.

Because you are always going to be dazzled at a Jonny Niesche show.  And in at least 2 ways.  Firstly its the visuals.  Very bright, alluring, great use of vibrant colour.  And secondly you are always going to be mindblown by the titles.  Jonny loves him a bit of philosophy and I am always struggling to catch up with where he is off to.  This show is called Cosmos Cosmetics.  And to any punter on the street that makes absolutely no sense.  But go read the essay by Amelia Groom (it is also online) and it starts to make it a little clearer.  Both words come from the same Greek root Cosmos which translates as ornament and order (or so I am told).  Amelia also quotes the French (obviously) philosopher Michel Serres who brings the concepts of veils into the whole adornment and order debate.  Which is my way of segueing to the use of materials here.  I didn't realise it until I got into the second room (pictured top) that the artist is effectively wrapping a thin semi transparent fabric that has been digitally printed with colour over a steel frame which he has also painted.  It's a neat trick and at the same time references his earlier glitter works which used varying colours of the spectrum so well.  I preferred the rectangles to the odd shapes, but hey, I am a traditionalist at heart!  Alongside the veiled works are some sculptures scattered around the place.  You can see one (I think it is "haptic rule of thumb" in the gallery shot above).  These are auto paint (officially 'vibrance prismatic flake auto paint') on steel.  Again, I can see how he has developed from the glitter sticks (which I loved by the way) to these.  Although I can't shake the thought that they look like over sized swizzle sticks.  But that is probably because I always have swizzle sticks on my mind.  The gallery attendant thought this show was a real step forward in Jonny's work and I can kind of see that.  Although I am nostalgic for a bit of glitter as well.  I hope we haven't seen the last of that weapon from his armoury.  Job done Jonny, a great show and a good way for me to ease back into the blogging game.  Now what is that schtick I do for every show?  Oh, yes - points ....

Points:  3 points to "... that was not first in the bouquet" (top right) and 2 points to its partner in crime "There is nothing in language ..." (top left).  1 point will go to "moving through atmospheres" (above on the wall).  This is great to look at on the gallery website, as when you scroll down the art moves from side to side given the off centre properties of the steel parallelogram he is using.

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