Phillip James Frost Review By Naomi Boult

Philip Frost’s current show Paper Work at a gallery proves to be a cohesive exhibition of the artist’s recent work, complete with the customary pop-culture references as well as more personal themes.  The uniformity of his style works particularly well in the gallery, the austerity of the walls and space being the perfect foil for Frost’s bold colours and chaotic collage.

At times Frost’s work can be exceptional, when he seems to possess an instinctual ability to work with composition and colour to make something that has inherent beauty.  The most striking example of this in his latest show is Head in a Box; a work that brings to mind taxonomical classifications, phrenology and deranged collectors of the macabre.   As dark and unsettling as it is, the work has a strange allure created by exquisite use of shadowy, muted shades and the off center configuration of the imagery.  This work, although it sits rather uncomfortably with his others, exemplifies the admirable work Frost is periodically able to deliver.

The collaged works in Paper Work can occasionally appear formulaic, but Frost avoids saturating his audience with stale imagery by including a few compositions of varying technique.  One such example of his departure from rote is his piece Untitled (2011) which depicts a cosmonaut adrift in a sea of fingerprints which evoke the stylistic legacy of the late Sigmar Polke. 

This show predominantly consists of works that we have come to expect from Frost, containing allusions to contemporary culture with varying levels of success.  It is the inclusion of pieces which signal a different direction for the artist, however, that prevents this show from becoming overly predictable and merits heading to Princes Street to view.

Philip James Frost, Paper Work is showing at a gallery, 393 Princes Street until April 2nd, 2011

we will all burn in hell

The group exhibition We Will All Burn In Hell at a gallery brings together five artists working in underground culture and the black metal/ heavy metal/ hardcore and punk lifestyle.

All artists represented in this exhibition express attitude, independence and the ‘do it yourself’ punk ethic. Slayer, Bad Brains and Circle Jerks are your reference points.

a gallery 393 Princes Street Dunedin is an independent dealer gallery and project space run by artist Jay Hutchinson. It will fuse elements of punk, street culture, experimental and underground fine art.

The opening show ‘We Will All Burn In Hell’ consists of two recently graduated students from the Dunedin School of Fine Art, Matt Wilson and Sam Ovens, two salvage artists Merrin Sinclair and Lewis Stanley Denzil Funraiser, and the curator/artist, Jay Hutchinson.

Matt Wilson is a tattoo artist, who walked out of art school in December last year right into an apprenticeship at Tattrix, Kaikourai Valley, Dunedin. Matt’s work hints at danger, and a recent experiment with a pinhole camera brought a community to a standstill with the imminent threat of catastrophe. When not working in ink Wilson produces careful, beautifully rendered drawings of fighting dogs.

Sam Ovens produces confrontational pastels paintings and prints, combining elements of religious, political and black metal imagery with a colourful twist. Another recent graduate of art school, Sam is also the singer/guitarist in the Hard core band Conniption.

Merrin Sinclair’s artistic practice is immersed in material culture, arranging objects and creating tension between domesticity, nostalgia and uncanny found objects, with a style that hints at the hand made, yet obliterates it.

Lewis Stanley Denzil Funraiser, better known as an experimental sound artist, has been performing nationally for the past 15 years under a number of different guises.  As a visual artist, L S D Funraiser salvages the detritus of the urban landscape, applying morbid and methodical judgment to find hidden value in the discarded.

Jay Hutchinson is a graduate of the Dunedin School of Fine Art Masters Program (2008) and has been exhibiting nationally for the past ten years. Hutchinson now works mainly in textiles producing subversively meticulous hand-embroidered works.

a gallery 393 princes street dunedin,

open saturday’s 10am to 4pm

or by appointment

phone 021 2600 169

 email agallerydunedin@gmail.com

exhibition opens

5:30pm Thursday 10 february 2011

until 4pm Saturday 5 march 2011