Line Paintings, Derivatives and Complexity

Op art painting from 2002

This is an optical painting I did in 2002. From about 1998 my notebook doodles started becoming more complex and in 2001 and 2002, I took the images to canvas and gradually moved up in scale. The work above is 90 x 120 cm.

Here is a a scan from a 1999 notebook (drawing size = 14 x 9 cm) :

notebook drawing 1999

In 2009/10 I made more of these works and up-scaled again, the following painting is 162 x 130 cm

Op line painting 2009

At these scales the works dissolve the rational sense of pictorial structure and initiate an active eye where focus and perspective are difficult and confusing, as the painting seems to expand its formal space and then fragment across the wall, persisting as a constantly moving after-image, a writhing sensuality. I’d like to think of these works as somehow analogous to my previous post about the tendency towards complexity in the financial markets and the confusion of comprehension: as complexity is increased our ability to comprehend relationships diminishes. Although in art, this movement is positive and generous in that new possibilities and perspectives are generated, this is the meta project of art. We could hardly say that about complex financial instruments, whose real world value was very quickly outstripped by their usefulness for speculation, they have been employed as a smokescreen for criminality and to further the eternal project of the concentration of wealth.

Particle Collisions, 1993

After the renewed interest in particle physics, the search for the Higgs Bosun using the LHC etc, I noticed that I’ve been receiving hits on some paintings that I did in 1993, the Particle Collision series. These where made just after my first exhibition (1992), so they are relatively early examples of my painting practice. They were made by pouring wet into wet and semi dry, with some pre and simultaneous brushwork to determine the paths of decay. I used all of the wrong chemical combinations in mixing the paint, resin, mediums and solvents, this produced some very interesting surface effects in some of the paintings, blistering, bleeding etc. My early documentation isn’t what it should be, but I remember doing about 6 to 8 of these works, some of which were sold and a few are in my Australian storage. Here are images of some of them….