Nicholas Jones "Boo" Depot Gallery; Joesph Sabadash, Depot II Gallery
Ok, so I know Nicholas - a bit. However, this is the first time I have seen any of his work, and I loved it! I walked around the gallery, a smile growing on my face as the obvious joy of paint worked its wonders on me after a long day in the studio. Nicholas' work is both playful and serious, referencing high and low art, pop icons -there's even a perfectly painted Opera House- geometry, strange conglomerate creatures and whatever-the-hell comes into his mind! His processes use techniques both old and new, in an exploration of paint and its possible applications and characteristics - for example, glazing gives way to thick impasto and hard edge colour field in the one painting, "Fiori and the Joker". This could look like a mess, but it is a testament to the talents of this young (27??) British artist's talent that he not only manages to pull off individual paintings, but somehow they can be read as a cohesive exhibition with an identifiable style emerging. There are a few hanging problems here, though - so be sure not to miss the paintings around the corner, behind the storage walls (he has underhung the show in the main gallery area, so there looks like not enough works here, but inexplicably mounted at least another 15 in the storage area).
Opposite Nicholas in The Depot II Gallery are the sculptures and drawings of Joseph Sabadash. These are truly beautiful and playful works, the sculptures in a both highly polished and lightly serrated finish, and drawings in pencil???, all in/on carrara marble. Organic, almost animal-like forms slowly reach through space, standing on impossible chairs or stools and relate to the slow movement of growth and eliciting a playfulness that nicely compliments that of Nicholas' work. I wanted to grab a few and give them a good home - I certainly wanted to caress them, at the very least.
Both shows are on at The Depot Gallery (I and II), 2 Danks St, Alexandria until 26th July only, under the umbrella of a new "Dealer" called Sydney Metropolitan Art Gallery (smartgallery.com -don't you just love the name!) who organise spaces and exhibit a small, selected group of artists. Part owned by a practicing, exhibiting artist, SMART have a website, but no property, which means they charge a reasonable commission to their artists and know what it feels like to be on the other end of the game. .I wish them all a lot of luck.
Go see the shows if you want to be revived in your art practice
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