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Jordan Kerwick FATAL PURITY at MMG Tokyo (2)
MASAHIRO MAKI GALLERY is pleased to present 'FATAL PURITY', the first solo exhibition of works by Australian artist, Jordan Kerwick, to be held concurrently in Japan and France. This exhibition features fifteen new paintings fresh from the artist’s studio, which depict both the harsh and pleasant aspects of life, and bring a distinctly contemporary edge to the classic subject of the still-life.
While keeping the traditional composition of a centered subject, placed on a table and set against a monochromatic background, Kerwick’s still-lifes break away from the often dusty classicism of the theme. His exquisitely balanced oil and mixed-media works on canvas investigate the interplay between colors and forms in bold strokes.
Rendered in organic lines, the main motif of blooming potted flowers and plants is often surrounded by scattered items, such as books with witty titles on their spines and music-related objects. In contrast to the apparent light-heartedness of the depiction, the recurring element of cigarettes and prescription pills add a touch of grittiness to the image. Geometric shapes and patterns give rhythm to the background. The lack of shadows and perspective create a flattened pictorial space, while the use of collage and impasto adds rich textures and materiality to the works. Kerwick’s paintings, simultaneously raw and charming, thus skillfully fuse flatness and dimensionality, figurative and abstract. Reminiscent of vanitas, they portray worldly pleasures and the ephemerality of life with a contemporary twist.