TO AUSTRALIA !

Peter Maloney

1 - 29 April

exhibition essay

TO AUSTRALIA !

Following some years of making luminous paintings matched with absurd, near hysterical texts, Maloney has reached for freedom in this body of works by reverting to his origins of black and white and a reductive palette.

One constant in this evolution has been his enlargement of tiny original drawings using the archaic technologies of photocopier, tracing and hand painted line. The original drawings for these paintings are no more than doodles, executed from a hospital bed, a situation that precluded the artist from working on a larger scale.

The paintings relate to the body, pathology and the fragility of life. His line reflects the body’s fluctuating levels of operative security, as well as internal organic functions. These linear compositions, centrally located on black backgrounds, possess an almost ghost like aura, evoking medical scans and the architecture of internal circulatory systems.

Maloney contends that these new paintings position his practice with one foot in Modernism with the other firmly planted in current conditions.

His linear structures don’t playfully skirt the edge of the canvas but hover within, never seeming to react to the edge.....
buoyant, upright and appearing almost sentient. 

From a distance the black backgrounds appear like voids, however, closer inspection reveals a variety of painterly finishes which invite closer examination. The artist has dragged matt black paint over glossier surfaces, “avoiding a void”, allowing the lines to both hover above the surface and at times appearing to be carved into a solid support.

Maloney has spoken of the fact that he was present, in utero, when his mother watched the first British atomic test in the north of Western Australia in 1952 from the verandah of the family home.

The possibility that he was a witness to this catastrophic event via a form of x-ray is materialised in his recent works on paper.

Lines depicted on metallic paint contain his vision of this explosive energy. This Imperial contempt for the island Australians call home is currently re-ignited as the privileged few ban and banish the needy. 

TO AUSTRALIA !

Following some years of making luminous paintings matched with absurd, near hysterical texts, Maloney has reached for freedom in this body of works by reverting to his origins of black and white and a reductive palette.

One constant in this evolution has been his enlargement of tiny original drawings using the archaic technologies of photocopier, tracing and hand painted line. The original drawings for these paintings are no more than doodles, executed from a hospital bed, a situation that precluded the artist from working on a larger scale.

The paintings relate to the body, pathology and the fragility of life. His line reflects the body’s fluctuating levels of operative security, as well as internal organic functions. These linear compositions, centrally located on black backgrounds, possess an almost ghost like aura, evoking medical scans and the architecture of internal circulatory systems.

Maloney contends that these new paintings position his practice with one foot in Modernism with the other firmly planted in current conditions.

His linear structures don’t playfully skirt the edge of the canvas but hover within, never seeming to react to the edge.....
buoyant, upright and appearing almost sentient. 

From a distance the black backgrounds appear like voids, however, closer inspection reveals a variety of painterly finishes which invite closer examination. The artist has dragged matt black paint over glossier surfaces, “avoiding a void”, allowing the lines to both hover above the surface and at times appearing to be carved into a solid support.

Maloney has spoken of the fact that he was present, in utero, when his mother watched the first British atomic test in the north of Western Australia in 1952 from the verandah of the family home.

The possibility that he was a witness to this catastrophic event via a form of x-ray is materialised in his recent works on paper.

Lines depicted on metallic paint contain his vision of this explosive energy. This Imperial contempt for the island Australians call home is currently re-ignited as the privileged few ban and banish the needy.