EBONY/CURATED Bordeaux House, Franschhoek
Saturday 15 January 2022
Continues until 26th February 2022
In the artist’s 6th Solo Presentation with EBONY/CURATED, Hugh Byrne presents a new series of paintings that links directly to his radical abstract experiments first seen in late 2019. In ‘Quick On Your Feet’ the viewer might be mistaken for thinking that the artist has abandoned all vestiges of control so visible in earlier works. These installations however are not random but deliberately focus on structure from every angle of the composition. Colour, layering, texture and form are carefully considered and reference the artist’s historical interest in urban spaces, photography and sculpture. There is a strong sense of materiality with cutting and re-using of old canvas and the extensive stitching affixes the experimental nature of this new body of work. Visual tension is apparent with the forceful nature of applying and stretching of canvas with hard raised, stitched edges and exposed thread which is tempered by the softer painterly elements.
Byrne ultimately views these paintings as objects and installations which were built up through a series of experimental three-dimensional processes. Influences are varied but latterly arrive from his previous studio works that he feels are often ‘points of departure’. There are definite physical influences that cement this idea of the object being influential. The use of faded washes and the juxtaposition of different canvases remind the artist of Italian marble quarries or the perfect stone blocks at the pyramids.
Hugh Byrne has not abandoned the hard-edged, tightly controlled abstractions first seen in 2012. There is still a strong link with these early compositions but the artist’s own rulebook has been torn up and re-written through these new radical visual experiments showing us that creativity is never still or ordered.