Full Circle is a group exhibition which examines the way in which a number of contemporary artists use the tondo as a form on which to work.
An ancient shape that stretches back to the beginnings of time, first recorded in replicas of the sun and moon, the tondo, or circle, has long been linked with religion and mythology as well as with nature. The shape of the circle symbolises eternity and creating a circular work of art results in giving it a wholeness, as well as a sense of movement and energy gained from freeing the painted surface from more restrained square and rectangular stretchers.
Full Circle includes work by three key gallery artists, Reuben Paterson, Dale Frank and Max Gimblett.
Reuben Paterson incorporates the formal painting properties of sharp line and ornate detail with a myriad of glitter colours to elicit curiosity and joy. His use of traditional motif produces works that link to memories of our recent and ancient pasts; memories that are visceral, tangible and intangible. For example the glitter swirls used in two of his tondo works in Full Circle are reminiscent of the fabric of dresses once worn by his grandmother.
Australian artist Dale Frank’s paintings are as much about the painting process as they are the finished work. Liquid substances are often poured onto Frank’s canvases which are tilted during the drying process. Usually working with square and rectangular stretches the move to circular canvases is new to Frank and this is the first time New Zealand audiences have had the chance to view his new tondos.
New York based New Zealander, Max Gimblett, is an artist who has a long artistic practice linking religious beliefs and themes to the creation of his artwork. The wide gestural brushstrokes evident in both Gimblett tondos displayed here are reflective of Gimblett’s ‘all mind, no mind’ philosophy when in the act of creating a work and are linked to his beliefs in Buddhism and meditation.