KEVIN CHIN: Structural Equality
Martin Browne Contemporary, Sydney
2–26 May, 2019
Harnessing the iconography of the global migrant crisis and the breathtaking landscapes of his surrounds, Kevin Chin interrogates the idea of placelessness in his debut Sydney solo at Martin Browne Contemporary. Chin’s technical prowess as a painter allows him to combine multiple places into a single, surreal image. His most recent paintings see bustling markets melt into icy lakes, and temporary tarpaulin fabrics billow over sweeping winter landscapes. They are a result of a studio residency at Teton Artlab near Yellowstone National Park that took place in late 2017, in the wake of Donald Trump’s presidential election win.
In response to the nationalism that had swept the nation, and the “alien” geothermal landscapes of his residency, Chin called on historical Western painting techniques to combine images of America, his Australian home, travels through Indonesia and Chinese heritage, to imagine new, borderless territories.
Gallery 9, Sydney
19 June – 13 July, 2019
The work of South-African born, New Zealand- based artist Ed Bats makes its way to Sydney once more for an eponymous solo presentation at Gallery 9. For this show, the artist takes a two-pronged approach, presenting new paintings that continue his exploration of textural voids, as well as the results that accumulate from excessive reworking.
The results combine vivid pops of colour, gestural marks and Bats’ interest in eschewing traditional canvas forms, making the work a viewing pleasure. Of particular interest are the artist’s “blind paintings”, which are a continued exploration of venetian blinds as presented at Sydney Contemporary art fair last year. With these works, Bats’ attaches blinds to self-made canvases, teasing audiences to interact and framing the work as a window to a different place.
Gallery director Allan Cooley says that it is Bats’ “intensity of his focus that allows him to create minimalist works where the viewer is both engaged and gratified by the perfect placement and combination of abstract image and space”.