Exhibitions views

Works in show

Press release

Ribordy Contemporary is pleased to present Compact Chaos, an exhibition of new paintings by Shawn Kuruneru. This will be Kuruneru’s third solo exhibition at the gallery. Kuruneru’s paintings are a record of chance marks, controlled gestures and fluid colours that develop into an epic and intimate abstract picture. His practice is inspired by traditional Chinese landscape painters who valued spontaneity above all; they did not aim to depict nature, but borrowed organic shapes and forms as a vehicle through which they could attach their thoughts and feelings. Earthly colours in Kuruneru’s work, suggestive of stones, trees, sky, sunlight, reflect his interest in nature. He explains: “…while swimming in a river in Woodstock, New York, I looked at the water running over the rocks and became interested in how naturally smooth the rocks were after years of being effected by the environment. I wondered if the mechanical weathering of a rock could be a starting point for a painting; similar to a landscape painter who claims the mountains as his subject, but to take it a step further and consider the formation of the mountain as an artistic gesture. » Employing a wet-on-wet technique, Kuruneru layers water, acrylic and ink on the canvas; balancing design and chance the painting forms in the midst of swift brushstrokes on a shifting surface. Vertical lines made up of various tones, transparent and opaque colours, manifest as stripes in flux. The spaces in between the lines reveal glimpses of light as if emitting from within the canvas. Ink is dripped by hand onto the surface then pulled by gravity in a synchronised motion across the perpendicular lines. The accumulation of ink dots oscillates between nearness and distance, establishing a warped sense of space, inflection and uncertainty. The paintings exist organically, as philosopher Lao Tzu stated: “Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished. »