Alex Spremberg

Wrong Angles

2 September - 30 October 2011
Westend Gallery

Curated by Leigh Robb

Wrong Angles is a major solo show of all new work by the highly acclaimed Western Australian artist, Alex Spremberg. In this show, the artist seeks to integrate everyday materials such as cardboard boxes and newspapers into his paintings. The five new series of works focus on two aspects that exert an extraordinary impact on our daily lives: the distribution of consumer goods and the flow of information through the media.

For the exhibition Spremberg has drenched hundreds of re-constructed geometric cardboard boxes in layers and layers of paint, in addition to making collages by catching dripping house paint with daily newspapers. Spremberg is using these ubiquitous but loaded materials as the supports for his paintings, as opposed to the traditional canvas. When a cardboard box becomes a ground for painting, the painting itself becomes part of the world of objects, the detritus of our consumer culture. A continuation of Spremberg's practice over the past twenty-five years, this body of work engages with systems of production, standardisation and economic rationalism. The many painted objects that proliferate the gallery become homogenous groups, all units in a system of production, much like the way packaging conforms to common standards of size, weight and volume. However, the reality is that it has taken the artist months and months of time consuming and careful painting and layering to get the desired effect.

With Spremberg's new series of seven collage paintings, the fluidity of the paint mimics the flow of images and information through newspapers, creating provocative, surreal and surprising images. The artist has photographed these collages that came about by chance in his studio, blown them up in scale and printed them to poster and billboard size. A close relationship has always existed between painting and photography and by capturing the movement of liquid paint through a printed photographic reproduction, another layer is added to the complex relationship of presence and representation.

Image: Alex Spremberg, Marching Into Paint, 2011 (detail). Courtesy of the artist, Galerie Dusseldorf, Perth and Karen Woodbury Gallery, Melbourne.