Group exhibitions in dealer galleries often have a habit of appearing as “works in stock” from their represented artists. PGgallery192’s October group exhibition, WIDE, represented a decisive break – and it is not merely because of the previously unseen works from the participating artists: Philippa Blair, Rebecca Harris, Simon Ogden, Chris Pole, John Reynolds, Stefan Roberts, Mark Sharman and Tim J Veling.
Thematically, WIDE directed the gallery visitor’s attention to the unique nature of a panoramic view, yet all the selected works circled the borders of such traditions. Rebecca Harris’ Above and Below, was both an unreality and encounter with a tangible and imagined moment in time, immersive and comprehensively engaging.
WIDE is an exhibition that constantly unsettled in the immediacy of the experience of each work, asking us to look and then look again. Philippa Blair’sTangler Tracker, 2014, was an expressive painterly work, yet as measured and precise as it was gestural and intuitive, a visual conundrum that rewarded, regenerating new and unanticipated visual conversation. Or take in photographer, Mark Sharman’s Tenki Manang, a panoramic landscape described as a grouping of ‘tiles focus-stacked from front to back,’ it comprised an extensive and far-reaching view that seems to perpetually exceed expectations in its details.
WIDE was also very much about entries and encounters into many worlds. John Reynolds’ In the street I was lost….seemed both memory and map, as well as an evocation of an historical place and time, the painting reconsidering Colin McCahon’s disappearance in 1984 in Sydney, following an extended period of prolonged illness, during a visit he made to I will need words, an exhibition of 22 works at the Power House Gallery of Contemporary Art at the University of Sydney. Measuring more than seven metres in length, In the street I was lost… located the gallery visitor within an immeasurable world of fragmented direction and confusion, yet also a promise of reconciliation.
Group exhibition, WIDE, 4-28 October
192 Bealey Avenue
- John Reynolds, In the street I was lost…2020, acrylic and oil paint marker on linen canvas, 2100 x 7400mm