Friday, September 25, 2009
Restrained, even for watercolours
Richard Bryant’s watercolours
Martyn and Rose’s living room
30 August - 20 September 2009 (visits were by appointment)
Both Richard Bryant and Martyn Reynolds are part of the ACFA group, so as Bryant is currently living in London, it made good sense to me when I heard about it, that he was showing some work in Reynold’s Newton flat. Previously I had only seen his paintings in Jan Bryant's section of the PX St. Paul St. painting show, three oil paintings exploring the materiality of collage, with sections of each painting copying pages torn from fashion mags.
After hearing from Martyn that collage still underpins the structure of his friend’s work, these recent, seemingly unrelated, extremely understated watercolours became pretty interesting. In fact preferable to the oil works. The connection though was certainly not obvious.
They were shown pinned up by their corners on the austere lounge walls, or lying flat on a varnished wooden table. Because they were more delicate than delicate, if you happened to own one it would have to be float-mounted. Kept well away from its frame.
There seemed to be two types. One had regularly patterned rhythms on a flat picture plane. The other had a deeper, receding space, using perspective and a vanishing point. Bryant’s project seemed to be all about qualities of edge where the liquid colour and minute granules interacted with shapes formed by the untouched A4 sized w/c paper – particularly with the patterned works. The perspectival pieces often had fields of descending mist where there was less density towards the bottom edge.
This private (semi-public) show is over now, but if you are curious about seeing these minimal but nevertheless intriguing works, you can always yak to Martyn, contactable via the ACFA.