I first visited Havana in November 2016, a few days after Fidel Castro died, and just under a year before Hurricane Irma hit Cuba in September 2017. Since then, much has changed, including the hand-painted signs that punctuate the journey from the airport to the city centre, which today do not celebrate the revolution so much as the 'Unidad y...
The exhibition Beyond Boundaries at Somerset House in London (12 March–2 April 2019) marked the historic contributions of the Central Academy of Fine Arts, Beijing (CAFA) and the Slade School of Fine Art, University College London, on the occasion of their 100th and 150th anniversaries, respectively. Spread across several rooms of Somerset House's...
The National 2019: New Australian Art features work by 70 contemporary Australia-based artists split across three venues: the Art Gallery of New South Wales (AGNSW), Carriageworks, and the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia (MCA) (29 March–21 July 2019), as curated by Isobel Parker Philip, curator of photographs at AGNSW; Daniel Mudie Cunningham,...
The title of Andrew Browne’s new exhibition is taken from the Neil Young/Crazy Horse epic 'Down by the river’, an evocative song of longing and tragedy - part murder ballad and part meandering free-form rock-out.
The same could be said of the seven paintings that make up the show: melancholic yet strangely beautiful.
A Riverbank (culvert, detritus and apparitions) is a tour de force. A nine-metre-long landscape, it brings a number of disparate images together to create an immersive space, its horizontal flow echoing that of the river and ending with a logjam of accumulated material.
While much of Browne's previous work has been imbued with a sense of foreboding, Down by the river shows the reverse: the aftermath of a chaos that now sweeps through his canvases.
‘Maybe these paintings are partly an ode to the troubled environment’, says Andrew Browne, as well as ‘a formal investigation of the banal.’
The river of my ‘Down by the river’ isn’t a specific place but a distillation of a number of places - real, imagined and contrived. In some paintings the river is only hinted at, as if the viewer has turned his back on it to get a closer view of some detail or those accumulations of various matter that have found at least a temporary resting place or foothold.
One painting depicts a balloon snagged in an eddy of floating detritus. ‘It strikes me,’ says Browne, ‘as full of pathos. That usually celebratory (or at least sentimental) object fated to drift, wrenched from its usual ‘happy’ context becomes a banal form memorialised in its damp fate!'
These paintings continue a focus on inner-city waterways, marginal spaces and the peripheral. Whereas typical scenes of riverbanks and suburban waterways are often presented as pleasant idylls and places of quiet reverie, the images here suggest a sense of anxiety, displacement and blurring of forms; of tranquil environs transformed by troubled and contingent relationships.
Lair is the wild card in the exhibition, a startling trompe l'oeil painting depicting a hoarding kicked through to expose an evil smiley face. With detritus, moss and a general dampness at its base it suggests a canal edge with perhaps a verdant landscape beyond. Down by the river reveals a painter in his prime – an artist who encourages us to drift down the waterway of urban reality. Down by the river continues Andrew Browne’s ongoing interest in natural and built environments. It flows out of Horizon, his recent survey show at Gippsland Art Gallery.
We have sent you an email containing a link to reset your password. Simply click the link and enter your new password to complete this process.
Scan the QR Code via WeChat to follow Ocula's official account.