24 APRIL – 18 MAY 2013
Titled Duets, the exhibition stages a melodic and at times disruptive chorus between a series of paintings and their virtual re-productions. Like the unexpected meeting of David Bowie and Bing Crosby over a song, the exhibition brings together old and new media, figuration with abstraction and the physical with the virtual.
Certain paintings in the exhibition focus on tangible signs of painterly production such as the layering of paint, physical gesture and the building up of painterly surface. The layers of paint and line reveal the process of their creation, drawing viewers’ attention to the materiality and time they occupy. Simultaneously these works are coupled with their virtual counterparts, suspending time and creating a duet between the present and the past, between tangible reality and its suspension through poetic associations. In these duets one singer is attempting to improvise, to forget their past and live in the moment, preoccupied with line, colour and surface. The other singer reminds us through the chorus the context in which these works are made. Alwast’s Russian Grandmother is presented simultaneously with a richly layered and colourful abstraction or when a series of intersecting lines are transformed into a half-built suburban development on the Gold Coast. Through photographing the paintings and incorporating them into virtual compositions their materiality is suspended, translated and the painted subjects are objectified in a new virtual context. The works in the exhibition present clashes and common ground between the painted original and the copy, the erasure of narrative and its re-emergence. This is the artist’s intentional provocation, to present a series of duets at times harmonious and at times discordant in distinct systems of representation; a narrative about direct experience and the mediated world we occupy.
Alwast holds a Master of Fine Art from the Parsons School of Design in New York and has exhibited nationally and internationally. Recent solo exhibitions include Future Perfect at the Institute of Modern Art, Brisbane (2011) and Translations at Grafton Regional Gallery (2012). Alwast’s work has also featured in Experimenta Utopia Now at MONA, Tasmania and in Selectively Revealed at the Aram Art Gallery, Seoul, South Korea, the National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts, Taipei and Chulalongkorn University Art Space in Bangkok, Thailand. Alwast’s work has been collected by the Queensland Art Gallery/Gallery of Modern Art, Brisbane, the Musuem of Contemporary Art, Sydney, the New School University, New York, the Gold Coast City Art Gallery as well as numerous major corporate, university and notable private collections in Australia and The USA.