“Objects & Energies is an exhibition about the impulse to make the invisible visible” so reads the opening sentence of the exhibition catalogue. Stepping into the gallery immediately validates this claim; at first glance the artworks appear subtle while possessing quiet energies that draw you in, demanding closer inspection. A delicate balance between the stated and unstated.
Matalon’s drawings are delicate and serene at first sight, but embody strong physical marks where multiple layers of beeswax are scraped, scratched and erased from the surface using a heavy hand.
The exhibition features three artists from different backgrounds and eras; contemporary Australian artist Joyce Hinterding, Brooklyn-based Linda Matalon, and renowned artist Agnes Martin (1912-2004), one time New York based-artist turned New Mexico travelling reclusive.
Hinterding’s interactive piece, Soundwave: Induction Drawings, asks viewers to run their fingers across glass sheets marked with graphite lines. Energy conducted from this human touch is converted into audible crackles of static; viewer and artwork cooperating as gallery DJ creating patterns of white noise.
There’s a direct relationship between Hinterding’s work and Martin’s signature grid drawings — the latter appearing as calculated mathematical formulas with seemingly perfect geometric lines and patterns. Peering into theses patterns reveals small irregularities in the pencil lines, inevitable wobbles of the hand, and ripples on the delicate surface of the rice paper used – signalling intimate appreciation of naturally occurring flaws and imperfections.
Matalon’s drawings are delicate and serene at first sight, but embody strong physical marks where multiple layers of beeswax are scraped, scratched and erased from the surface using a heavy hand. The viewer is forced to contemplate both what has been left behind and the significance of what was removed. Matalon, master of restraint, powerfully conveys a sense of longing and memory in her work.
Linda Matalon will be undertaking a residency in NSW from mid-March 2014, thanks to the Copyright Agency Limited’s Artist in-Residence grant funding. Matalon will be spending time in metropolitan Sydney and the remote, outback town of Broken Hill; vastly different environments and landscapes that will inform and inspire her artistic practice.
The exhibition will be showing at the National Art School Gallery until 29 March 2014, so go on in and share a moment with Objects & Energies.