Doing my regular gallery sweep along the K Road I come across an intense little show of Nicola Farquhar portraits at Hopkinson Mossman. And I’m not using the word little in a pejorative way.
Up the stairs, through the doorway into the large light filled gallery and I’m confronted by a much smaller space. Ten brightly coloured works hang in the confined space, and with their garish colours and brash marks they make for an abrupt visual assault.
Looking from work to work I know it takes my eyes a while to adjust, to grasp the pictorial space. I have to be patient. Studying the combinations of colour, texture and brushwork – like those magic-eye images from back in the day and Boom! – everything slots into place.
oil on linen
500 x 500mm
In the work Jute, the green nose juts out, the purple triangle on the shoulder on my left pushes the face forward as the shoulder recedes. Thickly painted “roses” in the middle of the face transform from flatish blobs into a three dimensional spatial structure.
The other works begin to reveal their depths, some more than others. And yet I keep coming back to Jute. It is a great little painting and the image you see here, like those of many paintings, really doesn’t do the work justice.
A couple canvases have little blue triangles sitting on the top edge, one with a lozenge shape and others are framed with loose canvas offcuts. I can’t help but think of the works of Blinky Palermo.
I’ll go back to the gallery later this week to see how the works look on a different day, when I’m in a different mood. If you’re in Auckland and haven’t seen the show yet I recommend it.
You can find more images from the exhibition along with the press release over at the gallery’s website:
Nicola Farquhar, Folded Eyes
20 Oct - 18 Nov 2017
All images from Hopkinson Mossman website.