DICK WATKINS 2018
Painting Against Time
13 April - 9 May 2018
We are constrained by the extent, mental and physical, of the spaces in which we work and by the limits of our waking inspiration. - Dick Watkins (April 2018)
Dick Watkins: Painting Against Time is an exhibition of several new paintings by the artist. The title, Painting Against Time, is perhaps a sardonic nod to the fifty-year anniversary of the iconic and radical exhibition The Field held at the National Gallery of Victoria in 1968. Watkins was one of the shining lights of The Field, and this month the NGV is restaging and reassembling many of the 74 artworks from the exhibition.
In this new body of work we see further development of many of themes that Watkins has traversed, but in these paintings we see pushing the work into more musical themes of syncopation, imbalance and division. Gone from these works is the ‘all-over’ balanced effect between the foreground and the underpainting. In these works, we see the relation between grounds more fraught and more dynamic. In the painting 4 Aces we see the underpainting reasserting itself as an erasing painterly mark, folding the composition back on itself and tumbling into the colours and line. In other works such as The Shrike, the gestural mark takes priority, but the forms both evoke and revoke three dimensional space.
Dick Watkins always manages to surprise. As an artist at the top of his game, in the battle between painting and time, Watkins is the winner!