Elizabeth Newman: So many lights and so much darkness

14 - 27 October 2020

Philip Martin Gallery is pleased to present an exhibition of works by Australian painter Elizabeth Newman (b. 1962, Melbourne). Newman's work addresses color, surface and the notion that reality can be re-shaped sometimes simply by revealing its elements. Newman offers articulate reflections on beauty, philosophy, and the concerns of everyday life.

"For Juan" present two vibrant squares. One is a reddish-pink, the other is a rich orange. The two squares sit on a scumbled grey field through which we see a warm ground. "For Juan" employs the push-pull of Hans Hoffman, the aplomb of Mary Heilmann. It creates different kinds of painted space, and unexpected juxtapositions of color.

The black, pink, white and grey work, "Untitled," uses a range of mark-making. Space appears as if close-up, but also at a deep distance. A green field sits behind a circular mark - a gesture reminiscent of Twombly or Lasker - that could signify a kind of French Impressionist landscape - a tree in a landscape. It could be almost figurative. The pairings are odd, and unexpected.

Another recent work, also "Untitled," takes a surprising turn as the unpainted, raw ground at the bottom that would normally act as a highlight here serves instead to lend a kind of geometric grounding to the composition. The three brushed orange shapes are in dialogue, both visually and figuratively, suggesting goals both abstract and representational.

Elizabeth Newman (b. 1962, Melbourne, Australia) received a B.F.A. from Victorian College of the Arts. Newman’s work has been the subject of solo exhibitions at Darren Knight Gallery (Sydney, Australia); the State Library of Victoria (Melbourne, Australia); Griffith University Art Museum (Brisbane, Australia); and Neon Parc (Melbourne, Australia). Her work has also been included in group shows at Ian Potter Museum, University of Melbourne (Melbourne, Australia); Australian Center for Contemporary Art (Melbourne, Australia); and Heide Museum of Modern Art (Melbourne, Australia). Her work has been featured in numerous publications such as “Un Magazine,” “Art & Australia,” “Memo Review,” and “Art and Text.” Newman lives and works in Melbourne, Australia.