Essay Paint Exhibition Catalogue


In this exhibition, paint itself is the star. Paint / material makes meaning. Narrative may exist but, in stark contrast to figurative painting, it’s not the primary driver for any of these artists. These artists are interested in exploring and pushing at the boundaries of what paint, and painting, can do. Paint itself is allowed to perform – its physicality is foregrounded - even though the artist is in the driver’s seat and underpinning that physicality with an intellectual engagement with art history that takes the work beyond the purely visual. There’s a sense of playing, having fun. 

Of course, in the 21st century, the strict mid-century rules of abstraction’s heyday –beliefs about the flatness and two-dimensionality of painting and truth to materials - no longer apply. This exhibition Paint presents a set of ideas around the materiality of painting and its links to the world via suggestion rather than representation - ideas around three-dimensionality, in-betweenness, transparency, edges, slipperiness, mobility. 

Marie Le Lievre: Paint poured, wet layer on wet, is, in Le Lievre’s work, allowed to dance and perform within constraints conceived by the choreographer artist. Deep abstract pools of oil speak to the world from a strangely an inbetween, liminal space. Le Lievre has an MFA (with Distinction) from the University of Canterbury and has exhibited in Australia and France as well as New Zealand.