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Searched Hard For You And Your Special Ways

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11 January – 1 February 2014

Main space: Rob O’Connor

Searched Hard For You And Your Special Ways

Rob O'Connor, Notes to Luppertz, 2013, oil on linen, two panels (1) 30 x 61cm

By their own physical nature, paintings have their own set of constraints – their two-dimensionality, their frontal, pictorial flatness – and are not, traditionally, participatory. You stand back from them; you don’t touch their surface, don’t get too close them, you move slowly if at all. These all lead to an inherent sense of distance. Paintings seem antisocial, sitting away from everything. It’s these constraints of painting that have been of particular interest to Rob O’Connor recently.

Searched Hard For You And Your Special Ways transforms the Main space of Constance into a staged studio, theatrically replete with studio detritus: dim light, piles of sketches, collages, notes-to-self, AV components, and that stink of linseed oil. The work includes a new series of representative paintings of Markus Lüpertz’s abstract bronze sculptures. That is to say, they are paintings of two-dimensional colour reproductions of abstract bronze sculptures. Which is to say, they are simulacra of simulacra; likenesses of likenesses. The sculptures have a childish way of depicting people but somehow this simplification get’s to the very heart of what it is to be a human. By carefully painting representations of these Art Brut sculptures inverts the meaning and says something else about what it is to be a human.

This exhibition was presented by Constance ARI as part of PAINTFACE curated by Polly Dance and funded by the Australia Council for the Arts.