Robert Owen,  Pink & Grey Wall,  1978, drymounted inkjet print, 72 x 47 cm.

Robert Owen, Pink & Grey Wall, 1978, drymounted inkjet print, 72 x 47 cm.

ARC ONE Gallery is delighted to present In the White Square, a group exhibition exploring themes of new abstraction curated by Laura Lantieri. An opening reception will be held on Saturday 10 December, 4-6pm. 

Showcasing the work of five Australian contemporary artists well-known for their use of abstraction as a primary visual language, In the White Square features Robert Owen, Jacky Redgate and Lydia Wegner, alongside invited artists Caleb Shea and Gemma Smith. Across a dynamic mix of sculpture and photo- based media, the artists in this exhibition are drawn together by a shared emphasis on formal concerns such as colour, form, space, light, optics and geometry. 

The exhibition draws its title from two of the 20th century’s great pioneers of abstract art – Vasily Kandinsky’s In the Black Square (1923), and Kasimir Malevich’s White on White (1918) – while referring obliquely to the ‘white cube’ exhibition space that came to rise in the last century. Situated in the formerly industrial, oblong ‘white cube’ of ARC ONE Gallery, In the White Square also considers the ways in which these artists employ abstraction in the context of a broader historical trajectory.

Variously touching on constructivism, minimalism, and hard-edge painting among other influences, the works blend a pared minimal aesthetic with a more idiosyncratic and playful touch. They invite the viewer to decipher lines, contours, surface textures and reflections in an almost puzzle-solving process, while blocks of colour activate spaces and pulse, oscillating between real and inferred depths of field. Challenging our understanding of what we see and what we know through an eye-popping agenda of geometry, colour and form, the artists of In the White Square collectively interrogate the very act of viewing. 

Please note ARC ONE Gallery will be closed from 18 December 2016 and reopen 24 January 2017.

Gemma Smith is represented by Sarah Cottier Gallery, Sydney, & Milani Gallery, Brisbane.