Currently, the visual art community is producing work in all forms, from performance art to traditional realism. Research is diverse. Yet abstraction is perhaps the least recognized and understood painting form, particularly by a public that in the 1960s understood it more due to curator and critical support. Following in the tradition of ‘Direction 1’, the first group exhibition in Australia to legitimise abstraction in 1956, Direction Now brings together a group of ten artists for whom abstraction is their chosen visual language. The show was initiated out of respect for each other’s work and a quest for recognition that abstraction has a valid, vibrant and lively existence in Australia. The fact that many more artists including Indigenous artists, could have been chosen for this exhibition indicates the breadth and depth of abstraction in Australia. The exhibiting artists have developed a distinctive personal rather than ‘movement’ based visual language. Abstraction has many facets from art informal, process painting, the hard edge and minimalism. In Direction Now notions of technique, process, and reoccurring themes linked to the artist’s individual experiences and immediate environment such as identity and place are presented. Above all Direction Now is an exhibition celebrating artists using elements of abstraction such as the lyrical, gesture, texture and colour field to convey an individual expression.
Anthony Terrence O'Carroll
Amanda Jane Ryan
Direction Now website
'Direction Now' intentionally echoes an earlier exhibition that presented a similar camaraderie. In 1956, 'Direction '1 was held at Macquarie Galleries, Sydney presenting the work of Robert Klippel, John Olsen, John Passmore, Eric Smith and William Rose. 'Direction 1' was the first time that an exhibition in Australia was solely dedicated to abstract painting – a turning point for abstract art in Australia.
|Direction Now installation shots at the Glasshouse Regional Gallery|
Hinged Edges, 2013, oil, enamel, pencil, PVA and pigment on canvas, 2 x 46 x41 cm
Black Square, 2013, oil and enamel on paper mache, 96 x 76 cm
Veiled Dots, 2013, oil, enamel and pencil on canvas, 153 x 122 cm