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By Sharne Wolff
Despite being very well known in New Zealand|Aoteoroa, including representing her country at the 2009 Venice Biennale, I Give you the End of a Golden Thread is only Judy Millar’s second solo show in Sydney. Millar is a contemporary painter who is interested in the honesty of paint and gesture. Unlike some of the oversized Biennale work for which she is best known, Millar returns here to a series of large paintings that envelop the insides of the white box. While Millar often avails herself of new technologies that literally contemporise her work, each abstract work in this show is painted in acrylic and oil on canvas. These ‘all-over paintings’ are colourful, expressive and reflect the authentic hand of the artist allowing them to communicate raw instincts.
It’s easy to be mesmerised by the swishes and whirls of these painterly canvases. So what do we make of the use of the first line of William Blake’s poem ‘Jerusalem’ as the title for this show? As the poem is said to refer to an offer of escape and salvation, it seems Millar has used it as metaphor to encourage new ways of looking at art. She believes art can provide “a new spiritism that reconnects us to the profound”.
Until June 8
Sullivan + Strumpf Fine Art, Zetland
Pic: Judy Millar Snake Gate I (Detail) oil and acrylic on canvas, 160 x 129cm
Courtesy the artist and Sullivan + Strumpf Fine Art.
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