Now firmly established on its Sydenham site Jonathan Smart Gallery presented a stellar exhibition of new works by Christchurch artist Marie Le Lievre. Trappings included a series of large-scale paintings dominated by tempered abstract forms of layered pigment fraying and seeping at the edges but pooling in the centre in a rich viscous yet ordered darkness of colour.
In a series of smaller works the artist taunted pure abstraction with literal threads or strings of graphite lacing together the blobs of pigment within a Klee-like frame of colour and form to create intriguing, playful pathways for the eye and imagination. Most literal in this vein - vein seems an appropriate word for many of the works in this show - She (Traps) revealed a single female figure emerging out of a veil of black paint, a bleeding crown on her head. Above this a second work, Trappings (Lamp Black), reared up like a phantom figure ready to subsume the body below into a crushing darkness. Fly Catcher, altogether more mannered and illustrative, comprised a photographic print of the prone artist, her space invaded by amorphous shapes of pure colour. As with the previous work there is an element of threat here, a menace implicit in the barely contained presence of paint.