Current Exhibitions - CARTER presents
The Trouble with Michelangelo
CARTER presents is pleased to announce The Trouble with Michelangelo, an exhibition of paintings by Kirsten Glass and Patricia Ellis.
The Trouble with Michelangelo evolves from Glass and Ellis' shared interest cultural decadence and its transformative styling. Glass and Ellis consider paintings as fictive fields: their canvases are terrains for narrative embellishment, locations for invented desire and flight of fancy, mapped out and made tangible through the liquid physicality of paint. Though their approaches are radically different â€“ Glass' monumental sized canvases and salacious brushwork versus Ellis' tiny coarsely rendered panel paintings â€“ the unlikely coupling of these artists creates a complimentary paradox, setting a stage where oscillating scale and heavily textured surfaces create a tension of surreality, distortion, and displacement.
Influenced by the Group of Seven's modernity-meets-new-world-frontier aesthetic, Ellis' humorous folk-baroque style paintings function as visual sketches for an unwritten novel set in historical Venice: a cosmopolitan, globalistic centre of a preindustrial age, dictated by superstition, ritual and indulgence in ostentatious, primitive haute couture. Treating paint as an almost sculptural medium, her portraits and interiors are built up with extravagant texture and detail, creating a magical realist sense of spatial disorientation and compelling presence.
Glass' supermodels are reemployed as hostesses to the activity of painting. Her modern day demoiselles exude sex-and-death glamour through Glass' obsessive fixation with surface beauty. Glass' paintings speak of tainted love and the liquid lust that comes from the tube, of the idealised form and the vampiric act of its consumption. Her canvases possess both a violence and fragility: rouge, silver, and black, oil-slick impasto, sweat stained veneers, porcelain delicate features, impassioned mark-making and scar-like scratches, resolve as the immortalisation of desire and it's tantalising insatiability.
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