Press and Editorial

BRETT MCMAHON ELEMENTAL

21/09/2017
Bill Gregory

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BRETT MCMAHON

ELEMENTAL

paintings installation works on paper

Exhibition Dates 23 September – 28 October

We are proud and excited to be showing works by Newcastle based artist BRETT MCMAHON in a major new exhibition. Large format paintings, works on paper, sculptural pieces and floor installations have detonated the space at Annandale, creating an extraordinary environment that will impact the senses.

The title Elemental is significant as these works engage with nature in such a direct way that some works almost appear to derive from natural processes. The rhythms and forms occur where man-made and natural intersect. BRETT MCMAHON materializes these convergences largely by working outdoors – soaking seams of paper in gesso, heat and rain; sanding colour and dust deep into canvas and linen. They feel like the residue of an ongoing performance. They are, in the artist’s own words; ‘an accumulation of processes and an accumulation of time.’

In addition to the influence he takes from the natural world, BRETT MCMAHON knows his place in the continuum of art-history and nurtures a dialogue with what has come before. Artist’s like Willem DeKooning, Frank Stella, Brice Marden, Brian Blanchflower and the French affichistes come to mind to name a few. He is the rare contemporary artist who understands that to do something new and original, one has to be armed with an intimacy and knowledge of the past. The artist challenges the way we see. The paintings are as basic as the urge for a child to draw with a stick in the sand and as complex as the echoes of the art-historical dialogue around the influential late 50’s pin- stripe paintings of Frank Stella.

BRETT MCMAHON has exhibited widely since 1989 with over twenty solo exhibitions in Australia since 1992. Notable recent exhibitions include; Distillation The art of Brett McMahon, Newcastle Art Gallery NSW, Hidden Nature, The Lock-up, Newcastle NSW both 2015 and a major public commission, Melaleuca 2016, at the NSW State Courthouse Building in conjunction with Cox Richardson Architects and the NSW Government.
His work is widely represented in Regional Galleries, University collections and notable corporate collections in NSW and private and corporate collections in Europe and the USA. This is the artist’s first show at Annandale Galleries.

To see a special interview with BRETT MCMAHON by SEBASTIAN SMEE, the Pulitzer prize winning art critic for the Boston Globe – please visit our website.

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