Virtuoso mark-maker that he is, be it with spray can, squeegee or brush, Tjalling de Vries is also the King of install. Paintings leant, paintings placed and spaces between are always considered. And, for the first time, the windows of Jonathan Smart Gallery have been specially painted for an exhibition.
The show is called Vision Tunnel, and behind the painterly fluoro yellow brush-marks, as broad and brick-like as the concrete blocks below, seeing is sharpened by the quiet yellow glow. The painted fields stop short of the glazed pane edges, though, and there's a trick. Cue the edges of the paintings in the show - often offset, wrapped by form, and always carefully conceived and executed with precision.
The tall painted panes of glass comprising the gallery's west wall are separated by thin metal mullions. Cue a new format for de Vries within - let's call them stick paintings for lack of a better term - the same height as the artist and just as thin. Crucially, they allow wonderfully playful description of forms around edge, that sometimes flatten right out despite the lack of significant surface area.
The technical facility exhibited by Tjalling de Vries is terrific. His trompe l'oeil crumpled paper look offers lightness and joy. The paintings are animated and playful. Acknowledging the physical context of the gallery, he extends the field of painting with almost sculptural breadth. His touch however is lyrical - the feeling serious but generous all at once.
Press release courtesy Jonathan Smart Gallery.