Nau mai, haere mai, welcome to eyeCONTACT, a forum built to encourage art reviews and critical discussion about the visual culture of Aotearoa New Zealand. I'm John Hurrell its editor, a New Zealand writer, artist and curator. While Creative New Zealand and other supporters are generously paying me and other contributors to review exhibitions over the following year, all expressed opinions are entirely our own.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Good at Artis

Roy Good: the Rhombus Suite
25 March - 19 April 2009

This show of Roy Good’s is about a year after his Lopdell House exhibition in Titirangi and shows his development since. It also shows the dangers of clinging to the past (I say this knowing that ‘the new’ is also widely under attack, esp. in journals like the latest Reading Room), of being besotted with the seventies and certain artists like Kenneth Noland, and formats like Noland’s elongated horizontal diamond.

Such ghosts haunt Good’s current practice. Whereas Noland used wide parallel lines running from top to bottom, regularly moving across the stretched out picture plane, Good inserts rectangular or triangular forms that float in front. He works on canvas or wooden ‘rhombi’, and the works don’t succeed. Their internal forms don’t work well spatially – especially when they ignore the edges. They suffer from a squashing compression, an inevitable result caused by short height combined with wide horizontal girth.

My view is that Good needs to have a radical rethink, and reinvent his approach to painterly materials and methodologies, if he wishes to be taken seriously as a still active painter. Perhaps he needs to abandon the stretcher and paint directly on the wall. Working with diamond shaped supports and thin glazes to render (or accentuate) planes like this is suicidal. Too derivative, far too tight, too prissy and impossibly designy.

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