Painting Matter
22 June - 16 July 2016
Opening reception: 6-8pm Thursday 23 June

Matt Arbuckle
David Egan
Merryn Lloyd
Jahnne Pasco-White
Jensen Tjhung

Painting Matter is an exhibition of contemporary abstraction by five artists who are currently Melbourne-based. These artists explore the surface condition of painting, expressed through various interests in process-based abstraction, materiality, formal or conceptual approaches to painting. Their approach to materials, palettes and mark-making is subtle, and draws on the urban environment and landscape. The exhibition’s title puns on ‘Matter Painting’, referring to techniques of the post-war period in which artists worked with thick, raised painting surfaces where the reactive and textural material properties of paint were brought to the fore and combined with unusual materials. It also refers to discussions on the continued relevance of painting to younger generations of artists.

Matt Arbuckle (b.1987 Auckland, lives Melbourne)

Matt Arbuckle is a New Zealander who now lives in Melbourne after two years in Berlin. Arbuckle draws on landscape and photography in works of painting and drawing that are predominantly abstract and ultimately concerned with formalist issues of space, composition and mark-marking. They are informed by Arbuckle’s travels and environment, for example in the exhibited ‘Stop Ten’, which includes the floating forms of Melbourne’s concrete tram stop barriers.

Arbuckle has held solo exhibitions including at the Auckland Art Fair (2016); Tim Melville Gallery, Auckland (2015); Neo Space, Melbourne (2016); Fontanelle Gallery, Adelaide (2015); Brunswick Lake Gallery (2015); Chapter House Lane, Melbourne (2015); Augusto, Auckland (2014); PAULNACHE, Gisborne NZ (2016, 2014, 2012); Studio-Baustelle, Berlin (2013); Holborn Building Space, London (2013). He has forthcoming solo exhibitions in 2016 at at Bus Projects and 2017 at Daine Singer and group exhibitions at Drill Hall Gallery, Canberra and TCB, Melbourne. 

Arbuckle has participated in group exhibitions at galleries including at Baustelle Gallery, Berlin (2016); Hanging Valley, Melbourne (2016); Morrinsville Whare Toi Wallace Gallery, NZ (2015); M Contemporary, Sydney (2015); Fort Delta, Melbourne (2015); Tristian Koenig, Melbourne (2014); Melbourne Art Fair (2014); Sydney Contemporary (2015); 30 Upstairs, Wellington (2014); Studio 40, Auckland (2014); BaumgartenBrandt Rechtsanwalte, Berlin (2014); Studio-Baustelle, Berlin (2013); Bucker Project Space, Berlin (2013); Klughaus Gallery, New York (2012) and Ninety Gallery, Auckland (2011). His work is held in the Chartwell Collection and James Wallace Arts Trust and he has been a finalist for the Wallace Art Awards (2015, 2014 2011, 2009).

David Egan (b 1989 Perth, lives Melbourne) 

Through painting, written text and performance, David Egan animates an idiosyncratic set of relations between decorative artifice, methods of deflection and philosophical problems of time. His work attends to the nature and tensions of contemporary experiences of time and pictures, and to the possibility that art might articulate and deepen these experiences.

Egan’s works for Painting Matter are painted with flowers sourced from local public gardens. The activity of walking through a public garden becomes a metonym for the choosing of a palette. In the studio, pigment is extracted from the flowers by rubbing petals directly onto the canvas. This extraction of pigment coincides with the making of a mark or gesture. Once applied to the canvas, the organic flower-colour is not fixed in time, unlike proverbial “paint”, it changes and fades. Each colour has its own agency, as distinct from the intentions of its maker and from its future context. The two paintings produced for Painting Matter reference the centrifuge as both a physical form of harnessing energy (as in the sublime figure of a turbine in Wind Farm, the streamlined signifier mobilised in ongoing debates around landscape aesthetics), and as a force of extrinsic motivation (as in the visual articulation of the locution Learning to drink the whirlpool).

Egan graduated from a BA in Fine Art, Curtin University, 2011 and a BA in Fine Art (Honors), Monash University, 2013. Solo exhibitions include: How did the worms know about the compost, Chapter House Lane, Melbourne, 2015; Out Land Look Scape, West Space, Melbourne, 2015; Actually Energy Help Light, Gertrude Contemporary, Melbourne, 2015; Underground Museum Tactic, St Heliers Street Gallery, Melbourne, 2014; Painting Playing Cards, Substation, Melbourne, 2014; Plantings, Adult Contemporary, Perth, 2014; The Yellow Curtain, Institute of Jamais Vu, London, 2012; The unknown by the more unknown, OK Gallery, Perth, 2012; and Seria Ludo, Galleria, Perth, 2011. Group exhibitions include: To wound the autumnal city, Punk Cafe, Melbourne, 2016; Fabrik, Ian Potter Museum of Art and Margaret Lawrence Art Gallery, Melbourne, 2016; Hardboiled City; The Physics Room, Christchurch, 2015; BLOOD, SUGAR, SEX, MAGIC, Slopes, Melbourne, 2014; Hire a magician to speak on your behalf, he is a great entertainer and the audience is blown away, TCB Art Inc., Melbourne, 2013; and Wilderness Years, OK Gallery, Perth, 2011. Egan has undertaken artist residencies at Perth Institute of Contemporary Art, 2012; Fremantle Arts Centre, 2012; and Amstel 41, Amsterdam, 2013. Together with Lauren Burrow, Egan coordinates Pansy, a backyard gallery based in Footscray.

Merryn Lloyd (b. 1988, Melbourne, lives Melbourne)

Merryn Lloyd works predominantly with beeswax and pigments to create paintings through a process of accretion, building up, mixing, reworking and scratching back into the textural surfaces of her works. Her inspiration is drawn from the landscape and more quotidian domestic environments. Often her paintings are titled with idioms and phrases that have visceral and sensory associations. The considered groupings of her small works invite further readings, where paintings act as counterpoints to each other, providing juxtapositions of composition, texture, and colour.

Merryn Lloyd graduated from a Bachelor of Visual Art (Painting), Monash University, 2008. Selected exhibitions include Dusty Plain, PAULNACHE, Gisborne, New Zealand (2016); Chalk and Cheese, Town Hall Gallery, Melbourne (2015); Oil on a Spoon, Utopian Slumps, Melbourne (2014); Pavilion, curated by David Homewood, TCB Art Inc, Melbourne (2014); Method and Gesture, Utopian Slumps, Melbourne (2013); Soft Eyes, curated by Pip Wallis, TCB Art Inc Melbourne (2013).

Jahnne Pasco-White (b.1987, Melbourne, lives Melbourne/ Leipzig)

Jahnne Pasco-White takes an intuitive, gestural and sculptural approach to her paintings. She incorporates a variety of media including found materials and heavy, traditionally sculptural materials such as plaster, resin and wax into her work. These are applied to more delicate supports such as linen, plastic and paper to create works with dynamic, highly textured surfaces that vacillate between flat and sculptural. Her approach to the manipulation of her gathered materials aims to both harness their properties and highlight their material differences, as well as to layer and obscure her mark-making.

Pasco-White has held solo exhibitions at Daine Singer, Melbourne; Artspace, Auckland; 910 Lofts, New York; and Testing Grounds, Bus Projects, Rearview, Long Division Gallery, C3, Counihan Gallery, Seventh and Brunswick Lake in Melbourne. She has participated in group exhibitions in New York at Pulse Art Fair and Honey Space Gallery; in Leipzig at Westpol A.I.R. Space and LIA, Spinnerei; in Melbourne at Slopes and Brunswick Sculpture Centre; and at Artspace Auckland.

Pasco-White has completed residencies at: LIA, Leipzig; Artspace, Auckland; Nes Artist Residency, Skagastrond, Iceland; Testing Grounds, Melbourne and Rome Art Program, Rome. She is co-founder of Brunswick Lake, an independent project space in Melbourne, has a BFA (Drawing) from RMIT (2010) and First Class Honours (2015) from VCA.

Jensen Tjhung (b.1980, Perth, lives Melbourne)

Jensen Tjhung’s recent paintings on glass and perspex combine enamel, bitumen, aluminium and ink, and are often poured into the picture plane. The scientific disharmony of the materials often produces areas of disintegration or cohesion. His works are made quickly and often in series where the paintings are worked on simultaneously. 

Jensen Tjhung completed a Bachelor of Fine Art (Painting), Victorian College of the Arts in 2002. Selected exhibitions include Negative Approach, Gertrude Glasshouse, 2016; Butchery, C3, Melbourne, 2016; Redlands Art Prize, 2016; Nine Painting Presentation, Incidents Above a Bar, 2014; Haze, 4A, Sydney, 2014; Gertrude Contemporary at Arts Victoria, 2012; The Solo Projects, Margaret Lawrence Gallery, 2010; The Hell, Hell Gallery, Melbourne, 2009; Roaming District Church, Melbourne Art Fair, 2008; Un-Sunken Lounge, Gertrude Contemporary, 2007. He has undertaken residencies at Artspace, Sydney; Gertrude Contemporary, Melbourne and a 4A Residency in Beijing.