Group Show feat. Larry Bell, Shirley Kaneda & Irene Chou

"In the 1960's, Larry Bell with a few others, invented what we now call West Coast art...this made a herald of the master. The voracious needs of the media then engulfed and transformed the demigod (artist) into a mystical meteor, mythical and dated."
- Thierry Raspail

ANNANDALE GALLERIES were proud to present the first solo exhibition in Australia in 2006 of the work of legendary American artist LARRY BELL. His minimalist cubes have been icons of art history since the first exhibition of this stunningly original work sold out at the famous Pace Gallery in New York on the first day in 1965. Since that time Bell has continued to make works in glass with his primary subject matter light itself as well as works on canvas and paper.

Another aspect of the work of LARRY BELL are his critically acclaimed works on paper called FRACTIONS. These are small works on paper resembling watercolours. To create his ?fractions? Bell cut discarded earlier works into bits and pieces of collages and paintings and used them to make new compositions. Many of the discarded pieces contained chemically treated surfaces. When he subjected each ?fraction? to the high temperatures of a lamination press, it caused layers to melt and flow, sometimes blending and other times sitting on top of one another like oil on water. The subject matter ? like the cubes ? is still refracted light and the results are endlessly fascinating. When viewing these works one?s interest actually builds, the level of engagement rises and each of the fractions seems more beautiful than the last.

LARRY BELL (born Chicago 1939 lives and works in Taos New Mexico and Venice California) is one of the most noteworthy representatives of abstract art in the postwar period, a career has spanning four decades. His medium, "light on surface," has often utilized the technology of thin deposition of vaporized metal films. His work is in the Tate gallery, Museum of Modern Art NY, Guggenheim, Stedelijk and National Gallery of Australia.


IRENE CHOU was born in 1924 in Shanghai China and moved to Hong Kong in 1949 and to Brisbane in the late 1990?s. During her time in Hong Kong she became one of that cities most respected and revered artists and teachers. She moved to Brisbane in the late 1990?s where she still lives and works.

Her work has always had an element of calligraphy, reflecting her roots but she has also always had a keen understanding of the relationship between Eastern and Western art and allowed her to cross and blur those boundaries. Her paintings on paper demonstrate that understanding with both a Western expressionistic and an Eastern spiritual quality.

The current exhibition features small works on paper that contain an immediate sensuality and depth that make them both exciting and intriguing.

This is IRENE CHOU?S second exhibition at Annandale Galleries ? the first being large works on paper in 1996.


The most immediately striking characteristic of a painting by Shirley Kaneda is the graphic impact of the colour. The juxtapositions of purple and orange, pink, lilac or apple green and turbid yellows are a feast for the eye. The colours sometimes seem sassy but are in oil despite the muted tones that evoke pastel. Virtually all colour exists somewhere in nature but Kaneda arrives at her unique hues by computers, so her colour sense is achieved from a mental and emotional activation rather than from copying nature. Some otherworldly screen saver comes to mind. The paintings indeed derive to some degree from photoshop manipulations of scanned watercolours, and are strikingly ambiguous. The titles of works in this exhibition such as ?Blissful Melancholy or ?Disciplined Chaos? bear this out. The titles are oxymoronic.

Kaneda uses one of the oldest human technologies ? painting, to describe one of the newest ? the computer. The internet is more and more our interface with the world and - for better or worse - even with each other.

There is something measured and cerebral about her work that does not allow the eye to rest. Flatness versus depth, spaces insinuated but not achieved, the feel of a bouquet of flowers versus a computer screen, biomorphic shapes reminiscent of Miro versus an abstract explosion perhaps originating in the pop art colour and imagery of James Rosenquist or Frank Stella. Given these energetic tensions, it is remarkable what an overall calming influence the paintings evoke.

Shirley Kaneda was born in Korea, raised in Japan and has spent her adult life in New York City. She is an Associate Professor at the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn and presumably well tuned to the currents and movements in contemporary art. She is obviously well aware of her place in the continuum of painting and the more advanced theoretical discourses, which abound in the New York art world.


Group Show feat. Larry Bell, Shirley Kaneda & Irene Chou
12 Aug - 12 Sept 2009

Exhibition features:

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Please note, works in previous exhibitions may no longer be available, please visit our stockroom for available works