From the Archive
Shadows is from Spier's 2017 exhibition Divided Paintings, the artist’s fifth solo exhibition with the gallery. Many of Spier’s obsessions are present: over-saturated colour, optically charged patterns and a composition poised at the threshold of re-organisation. Whilst Spier’s paintings appear as though shattered by some blunt force, this initial sense of violence is counterbalanced by a constructive logic. Spier’s Divided Paintings begin 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. 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 Shadows Spier creates a tension whereby the reunification of parts is both irresistible and implausible.
BRYAN SPIER graduated from the Canberra School of Art (Painting) in 1998 and completed a Master of Visual Arts at the Victorian College of the Arts, University of Melbourne in 2005. He completed a PhD at the Australian National University in 2017. Spier's first solo exhibition was held in 1999, and he has since exhibited frequently across Australia and internationally.
Group exhibitions include Shifting Geometries, Embassy of Australia, Washington DC (2012); Word of Mouth, Canberra Museum and Gallery (2012); Colour Bazaar, Heide Museum of Modern Art (2011) and Networks; Cells and Silos, Monash University Museum of Art (2011). He has presented six solo exhibitions with Sarah Scout Presents: Electric Paintings (2019); Divided Paintings (2017); History Paintings (2015); Heavy Images (2013); Simultaneous Paintings (2011); and Expandable Paintings (2010). Spier's work is held in major public and private collections throughout Australia including the National Gallery of Victoria, Artbank and Griffith University.
Bryan Spier: Isolation Paintings