PREVIEW: NICK HALL
PREVIEW: NICK HALL
Wagner Contemporary will be presenting a very short and very special preview of Nick Hall before Sydney Contemporary Art Fair.
Hall’s exhibition, ‘Rumpus Room,’ explores our primordial urges in the present day. Through a deeply introspective and psychologically driven approach, Hall portrays the fractured nature of living in the 21st century – a time in which we have become increasingly divorced from the natural world, and separated from our most essential forms of existence. The emerging artist’s works not only capture our alienation from the environment, but also our fraught attempts to reconnect with it. In Hall’s enigmatic series of paintings, nature finds expression within the heavily circumscribed architecture of humankind, as trees and wildlife occupy artificial geometric prisms. Here, the Australian wilderness has been packaged into a safely consumable parcel.
“I think that we as a species reach towards the natural world, and in our own way try and keep it close to us,” Hall explains. “It’s a cognitive dissonance as we can’t quite bring these two worlds together – knowing that we need to be separate, yet wanting to be part of it.” The idea of a rumpus room occupies nostalgic territory within our collective consciousness: it is a playroom; the place where you can just mess everything up, and the space where you can just be yourself. In Hall’s paintings, his nude protagonists have been liberated from the strictures of the everyday. Although their rumpus room may look a little different to the ones we know, it nonetheless affords them the same fundamental freedom.
For Sydney Contemporary, Hall is presenting a series of paintings that continue to explore these preoccupations. The works represent an extension of his oeuvre, as they look to expand Hall’s experimentations with spatial and psychological relations even further. Ultimately, the paintings will look to push the boundary of Hall’s current artistic practice, without losing sight of his fundamental concerns. At Sydney Contemporary, fair-goers will be invited to examine the artist’s vision of our dual need to possess nature and get lost in it too.
Exhibition images will be illustrated on website 23 August.