Nine small drawings (30 x 37cm) in pencil on paper might sound like a modest body of work but Scott Flanagan’s meticulously crafted lattice images, (simultaneously abstract and figurative) in The Waiting Room Suite radiate a presence and a puzzle that on both counts is heartening.
The Waiting Room Suite is an exhibition of the first works completed by the artist since literally leaving the waiting room after cancer treatment, Flanagan thanking Sharon Ng at Ng Space for presenting an exhibition of The Waiting Room suite, as well as Barry Cleavin ‘for mentioning it often enough.’
These are compelling images, yet curiously, informed by a sense of paradox. The commanding influence of modestly scaled objects in an expansive space that insist they won’t be ignored, or the certainty of the artist crafting pixilated images that could have been achieved in less than a second in digital media. Yet, in the end, Flanagan’s works on paper make it evidently clear that the ongoing refinement of his mark-making and qualities of his materials are central to the authority and experience of The Waiting Room Suite.
Flanagan art has often been about visual and philosophical conundrums, the certainty of his logic in the dark romanticism of the questions his work asks about the certainties of what we believe we know to be true Yet, in spite of the puzzle that The Waiting Room Suite is capable of representing, the presence and insistence of its iconography and its meticulous realisation makes it something much larger, an encounter of the essence that enriches and locates the gallery visitor firmly in the moment of the here and now.
Rightly so, Flanagan observes: ‘Though still daily enervated, making the drawings has certainly contributed to my overall movement towards good health—and has solidified my relentless search for something resembling art and excellence.’
The Waiting Room Suite
Ng Space, Level 1/212 Madras Street
6 November – 31 December
Scott Flanagan, Waterfall (for Derek Jarman), 2020, pencil on paper, 37 x 30cm (detail)