Richard Graville – ‘SOLUTION’ 2022 (100x100cm) and ‘CLEAR’ 2022 (80x80cm) both Flashe and acrylic on canvas
Returning home from the Private View for ‘We Like The Taste of Certain Poisons’, I am compelled to write something immediately about this small but compelling exhibition of Richard Graville’s paintings at NoHawkers Gallery, which is situated in the Rodhus complex of studios and workshops in Brighton.
Some sense of urgency (including the use of my iPhone photographs – so apologies to the artist) is due to the fact that the show is only open for two days and that if someone were to read this hurried review in time they might make it to see the exhibition.
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Don Voisine, “Center Square” (2021), oil on wood panel, 12 x 12 inches
Don Voisine is an exquisitely refined, planar geometric painter. He works in oil and acrylic on wood panels that range from 12-inch squares to horizontal rectangles measuring 53 by 80 inches, which is about the largest he can physically move on his own. Within the limits of his scale, which tends toward the intimate, and his reductive, hard-edged geometric vocabulary — I don’t recall ever seeing a curved form in the years that I have been following and writing about his work — he has explored difference and similarity in a way that brings to mind the music of Philip Glass and Terry Riley. Geometric forms that are opaque and transparent, distinct and nuanced, cold and hot, brushed and smooth populate his sensuously restrained paintings. Within these parameters, he has broadened his possibilities incrementally, like a climber scaling a steep mountain with no obvious or visible passage.
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Installation view of Return to Color: Ha Chong-Hyun at Tina Kim Gallery (image by Dario Lasagni)
Ha Chong-Hyun (b. 1935) is one of the central figures in the Dansaekhwa movement, along with Lee Ufan (b. 1936), Park Seo-Bo (B. 1931), and Yun Hyong-keun (1928–2007). The term, which means “monochromatic painting,” is applied to a group of abstract painters who emerged in Korea in the early 1970s, around the time that Park Chung-hee, the third president of South Korea, declared martial law in 1972, virtually ensuring his lifelong dictatorship. His repression of political rivals and denial of personal freedoms only started to end with his assassination in 1979 by Kim Jae Kyu, his lifelong friend and trusted member of his small inner circle.
For this generation, which had already lived through World War II, Korea’s struggle with Japan for independence, the Korean War, and the division of the country into separate entities, Park’s repressive regime seemed like the ultimate betrayal.
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