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The Red Head Gallery is pleased to present CAPRICE, an exhibition of new work by Ian Mackay.
Drawing on the legacies of both figurative and abstract painting, Mackay presents a series of works depicting subjects and scenarios that resonate with larger issues in our current political and cultural landscape. Caprice means a sudden, unpredictable change, a whimsy, without apparent or adequate motive. It aptly describes the daily unreason, the falling apart of our current social, political, and spiritual order. It also describes the artist's approach to art-making for this exhibition. Exploratory and provisional, these works combine humour, accident, automatic drawing, and expressionistic colour, to vivify anxious states of mind or soul that should surprise no one these days.
Influenced by early 20th century Expressionist artist groups, Die Brucke and Der Blaue Reiter, this exhibition features some of Mackay’s large semi-abstract pastel works and smaller “portrait” oil paintings of figures in crisis. In the Zoomorphic Redaction series, Mackay places vertical stacks of colour reminiscent of his earlier block paintings, on top of gesticulating organic forms suggesting that animal morphology is being overlaid by the human-made. The anonymous figures in the portrait paintings are caught in some kind of struggle with the present conditions of life on a faltering planet. Mackay’s use of vivid colour and emotional tension intensify the experience of the viewer.