David Voigt – Paintings and Drawings

6 October – 3 December 2012

Bungendore Wood Works Gallery invites you to celebrate the opening of a exhibition of paintings and drawings by David Voigt at 2pm Saturday 6 October, 2012 Octagon ArtSpace.

View exhibition catalogue 

Read more about the artist


‘In modern usages of the term spectrum there is a unifying theme between extremes at either end.’ Applied to an artist’s output this may translate as ‘from light to dark through the tones in between’.

David Voigt’s artistic spectrum for this exhibition begins with delicately toned pencil drawings, and continues through striking watercolours, ethereal landscapes and highly complex geometric visions of elements of the landscape and light. In a sense he is returning to his artistic roots. His first solo exhibition held in Canberra in 1968 featured drawing based techniques including etchings, serigraphs and drawings. This, his fifth solo exhibition at the Gallery since 2004, is the first to include his subtle, tonally sublime pencil drawings.


First Light

2011 acrylic on canvas 130x100cm

First Light is an acrylic on canvas from the ethereal landscape band of this artist’s spectrum. Possessing almost biblical proportions, a blast of pure light charges through a heavily vegetated and rocky creek bed. Its intensity is so visually and dramatically powerful through purposeful artistic emphasis that it could almost be light from the creation of a newly born star. Without prolonged exposure to such light the luxuriant vegetation it shines through, and on, could not exist. It is in fact the first light of a new dawning, bursting through an opening, its edges tinged with the reflected colours of the damp and dark vegetation.

At first the light is blinding to the eye, an unavoidable sensory magnet. But the viewing pleasures are to be found in the detail of the areas surrounding the light. Here are subtle and rich hues that calm the eye, instilling peace into the initial pandemonium bought about by the first daylight. A command of light is at the heart of Voigt’s vision, and his two dimensional representation of it, in this, and his other mediums, forms the core and soul of his art.

Lakeside Breezes

2011 pencil drawing 25x33cm

Voigt’s pencil drawings, in this exhibition, hark back to an earlier period in the artist’s journey, and were produced during a recent prolonged period of convalescence away from the easel and paint. The works celebrate the simplicity he finds in nature’s forms while simultaneously displaying the complexity of its interactive elements, such as the wind and light and shade. The drawings are wonderful balances of positive and negative space achieving subtly nuanced tonal ranges within simple line structures. The deeply shaded solid areas are bold, almost parallel, pencil strokes occurring at the same time yet having a connection in the almost mechanical-like repetition of the stroke technique used to form the shapes. Animation of natures elements is achieved by the use of curved strokes producing windswept skies, leaves and grasses, providing vibrant movement of earth, wind and sky above pockets of serenity laced together by the interplay of spaces created by the pencil strokes and the blank paper on which they sit. These drawings provide a simplified view of the dynamism of the Australian landscape in which Voigt is deeply involved.


Forest of Blue Lights

2011 acrylic on canvas 100x100cm

Voigt’s geometrically abstracted signature landscapes are rarely caught more splendidly than in Forest of Blue Lights, an explosion of vivid and hushed blues with splashes of gold, green and magenta acting on the blues here and there to produce a myriad of lush tones – all heavily defined by strong oblique lines that delineate the geometrical shapes. This, together with intermittent pastel bands of prism-like shards that in one area has a similar effect to a swiftly flowing stream captured by a photographer’s slow shutter speed, gives an illusion of rapid movement contrasted with a gentle wind-blown geometry that mimics the invisible wave-like movement of a passing breeze. These uniquely crafted compositions are now very much limited by size and number as the demands of the process of producing the works are putting them beyond the physical means of the artist. They are a rare insight into real, imagined and partially remembered landscapes that could be termed as being “endowed with split personalities.”

 

Solitary

2012 watercolour, mixed media 57x76cm

sol•i•tar•y adjective (of a place) secluded or isolated / (of a bird, mammal, or insect) living alone or in pairs Here is a combination of deeply luxuriant areas of vegetation and shoreline features – almost beyond the watercolour medium’s ability to render such intensity of detail and colour – and sublimely mystical and misty waters on which stand much less distinctive natural forms such as introduced tree species clinging to an overcrowded island, and distant hills and shorelines shrouded in mist that blur the horizon between earth and sky in a realm supremely suited to watercolour’s wash technique. Standing alone (and possibly giving the piece its ‘Solitary’ title) is a single and highly detailed water bird, nestling in the shallows, on alert, but only slightly menaced by the artist’s voyeuristic presence. The bird cocks its head, almost as if it has just heard the muffled click of a conscientious photographer’s camera, or the accidental tap of a brush handle on an easel, wary, but not threatened by the intent of the artist’s role in the landscape.

Tuesday 25 September 2012