|Paintings From The Hill or What You See Is What You Get
Review by Andrew Harper
It’s long established that Ian Parry is something of a restless investigator of his own art: if there’s a distinct strategy that always appears in his work it is that he keeps shifting and sifting through his own methods and tactics, interrogating them, re-thinking and re-doing. I’ve long wondered how long
he might do this for, but it seems he will never arrive at a destination and
that his journey is his method – and what a good thing that is. This show in
particular is rife with transition and shift, as the artist demonstrates a number
of modes and potentials for his art. This would be more than enough, but in
amongst this show is a massive diptych, Untitled Until Now, which coalesces
Parry’s abstract ideas into a bright, enveloping work that has an extraordinary
Visual Arts The Mercury February 25-26 2016 p.21
Ian Parry is confident, hard-working and in charge of what he’s doing. This doesn’t indicate he has a shtick he endlessly churns out, nor that his painting isn’t heading somewhere.
From his last show A Part of the World, to this exhibition, there’s been a shift in what Parry is investigating: his sense that his somewhere has not changed – but it may have expanded.
It seems Parry iis fascinated by maps: the title of one of the works in this series, Mercator, refers both to a type of map and the historical figure who made it. This was clear from his last show, but something else has since developed. Parry seems to be more mobile, shifting his eye from location to location, capturing features and exploring geographic landmarks.
There’s a hint of restlessness, perhaps, as he traces lines across seas tinged into dark reds, tracing journeys made by Dutch explorer Willem de Vlamingh around the D’Entrecasteaux Channel. But Parry is not simply in Tasmania – he is also in Scotland. Time seems to be gnawing at his work and he adds it in, making it part of the tools with which he navigates life, mapping it, recording the significant locations.
|Opening Notes Ian Parry 29 Jan 2016
Welcome to the new body of works by Ian Parry A Part of the World.
Parry is an artist who trained, taught and exhibited in Melbourne before moving to this part of the world some 15 years ago.
When I look at these paintings it brings to mind the challenging works of Gerhard Richter, contemporary German expressionist, who similar to Picasso and Jean Arp, follows in undermining the concept of the artist’s obligation to maintain a singular cohesive style.
Here Parry takes landscape, or more specifically seascape, ‘and guts it’. What does it mean ? Marine charts and navigational reading becomes 3D. He takes colour and form, identifies it, grabs it, the colours intensified. The plotted line of the boat, a dramatic slash of movement.
He further pushes these relationships into abstracted patterns of structure, colour harmonies and where one form is a response to another.
Result – hum dingers.
Again to quote Richter and his thoughts.
“No one painting is meant to be more beautiful than, or even different from any other. Noor is it meant like any other, each painted individually and by itself, not all together and all of a piece.”
Here, there is no pretence, no plagiarism . Each work is created individually, stands by itself, but each forms a response to another.
Here what you see is a huge honesty, they are highly articulate, powerful and original works.
Trudi Young. Director.
|With flying colours
The fields of colourful shapes that shift and blur together in this series by Ian Parry hover like
apparitions in a borderland between the freedom of the
abstract and the disciplines of landscape painting. It is as if Parry has reached a point where he
doesn't need to paint any particular thing: he simply needs to paint.
Parry is at a later stage of his career and this is art by someone who is still deeply engaged with
his own investigation and process as a painter, whose artistic output has surprising vigour and
The large paintings are filled with hard work, layers of colour and tactile vibrancy. All the
compositions are riots of contrasting hues and forms, butting up against each other in a manner that
faintly echoes maps and surveys.
Each is filled with carefully layered colour, glazed and then scraped back with apparent physical
force - Parry appears to have really worked into the paint at certain points - and the edges of each
patch of colour seem to pulse and even glow.
They may not show anything in particular but they still feel as if Parry is
outside, breathing in the sea air and using his catalogue of experience to create something that feels
like the landscape rather than just showing it.
He invokes symbolic ideas, though -each of the artworks contains forms that hint at past phases
of his work, that reach back to shapes and lines that may have been more recognisably derived from
places or maps marked with lines that describe a journey or a path but that he has worked into a
new alignment. It could be a landscape of the mind.
Each work has a vibrant beauty that makes a riot of disparate colour and
form come together in a way that seems logical and natural The cohesion
Parry achieves is a testament to the technical understanding of an experienced artist,but what really
comes to the fore is the strong character of the work.
Here is as good an example as you'll find of an artist pushing himself into truly interrogating his
own art practice.
Parry knows what He wants and it is by the action of his hand, guided by a studied intellect and a
bold eye, he realises his vision.
Andrew Harper, Tas Weekend Feb 13th- 14 th 2016