Michael Mark, Kim Vernon and Ian Wells have an extensive background in the working properties of pigments, waxes, oils and binders and each uses the language of abstraction. These Melbourne artists found a common bond not only in the act of painting, but in their respective attempts at pushing the boundaries of traditional methods and materials.
All three share an appreciation for the involvement and evidence of the hand in a work of art. Whether it’s grinding raw pigments with linseed oil and glass mullers, melting beeswax with resins or using old-age techniques, their knowledge and skills are very much in evidence. The surfaces of these abstract paintings and drawings are varied – using methods ranging from polished carbonate to glossy finishes, power tools to sable brushes.
Michael Mark‘s work is concerned with the aesthetics of ambiguity, the push pull of a recognizable image against it’s ground. His paintbrushes were abandoned years ago in favour of gloves with which he works every square inch of canvas.
Kim Vernon is presently concerned with buildings and their presences, the dark silhouettes dominating the pictorial space. His impastoed surface are caused by an endless re-working of form.
Ian Wells’ carefully articulated rectangles and squares invoke Italian palazzo floors with their perspectival regularity. By using a multilayered technique he achieves a marble-like translucency in the work.