Bryan Spier | Divided Paintings

5 October to 11 November 2017


Sarah Scout Presents is delighted to present Bryan Spier’s exhibition, Divided Paintings, the artist’s fifth solo exhibition with the gallery. Divided Paintings features eleven new paintings, all completed in 2017, and engages many of Spier’s ongoing concerns: over-saturated colour, optically charged patterns and compositions poised at the threshold of re-organisation.


While Spier’s new paintings appear as though shattered by some blunt force, this initial sense of violence is counterbalanced by a constructive logic. Each of Spier’s Divided Paintings begins with a rectangular plane that is slightly smaller than the canvas. That plane is then sliced into smaller sections, and spaced apart in a contiguous formation. This now broken plane catalyses the division of the canvas into a spectrum of colours. While the use of colour may appear intuitive and playful, the arrangement is calculated to signify categorical divisions between different parts, and between foreground and background. The aggressive fragmentation of the image is countered by concentric patterns inscribed upon the planes. These simple patterns remain coherent even when the plane is broken apart, and so point to how our attention flickers between the perception of visual contrasts and the recognition of pictorial categories. In Divided Paintings Spier creates a tension whereby the reunification of parts is both irresistible and implausible.

Bryan Spier, Exhibitions, Past Exhibitions