If artists Kazimir Malevich and Bridget Riley were to have a creative offspring in 2012, it might look something like Baker’s Dozen, the latest exhibition at the UTS Gallery, curated by Lorna Grear.
Looking at developments in geometric abstraction and ‘spatial relationships’ the show is equally at home with the rigidity of formal constructions and the intense pleasure inherent in creating them. Gemma Smith’s vibrant triangulations are painted gleefully over a chessboard, while Nike Savvas’ neon threadwork over prisms is painstakingly executed but youthfully engaging. The work of Vivienne Binns and Debra Dawes is in clear homage to a long history of op art kinetics (hello, mother Riley) but with shimmery, suggested depths that call into question the canon.
Echoes of Meret Oppenheim’s deviant domesticity – most will remember her infamous fur cup and saucer – can be seen in the plaid-covered lounge-room set by Kerry Smith (Homeland Security 2006-12) and the medically enhanced tables and chairs by Lisa Jones (Playing Host 2006-12). The part these items have to play in the overall message of the exhibition, along with some organ-like furniture pieces by Bonita Bub, is less clear – but we sense it has to do with the anarchy of the flat bursting forth in the very near future … Riley and Malevich would hope for no less.
Until Apr 5, UTS Gallery, Level 4, Peter Johnson Building, Building 6, 702 Harris Street, Ultimo, 9514 1652, utsgallery.uts.edu.au