In Monica Rohan’s ‘Disappearing Act,’ Free-Floating Fabrics Disguise Landscapes Under Threat

“Riverbank” (2023), oil on board, framed, 120 x 90 centimeters

Draped over invisible clotheslines, vintage fabrics conceal seaside vistas, meadows teeming with dried grasses, and craggy walls of stone in Monica Rohan’s latest works. The artist (previously) renders the vast landscapes of her native Australia in a new series of oil paintings as part of Disappearing Act, her solo show on view later this month at Jan Murphy Gallery in Fortitude Valley, Queensland.

Known for her deft portrayals of pattern and the dimensions of folded textiles, Rohan continues to contrast domestic, human-made material with more organic surroundings. In this series, disembodied limbs draw back the suspended curtains, slowly uncovering the otherwise concealed landscapes. Rohan refers to these small reveals as “portals to seemingly idyllic environments beyond” that accentuate the way paintings—and art, more broadly—intervene in how we experience our surroundings.

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