In Emma McIntyre’s paintings simple shapes, patterns, marks, and motifs build into complex surfaces imbued with spatial and psychological depth. In recent paintings, multiple grid structures (lattices, harlequin, chequerboard etc.) appear and disappear, as underlying structures receding into the middle distance, stitched into the canvas itself, and scoured across the topmost layer of paint. For McIntyre, the grid functions both as a primary organising principle (with references to art history, architecture, craft, and technology) and as a metaphor for a key modality of creative life. Grids create their own network; infinite structures filled with gaps and fissures, but also moments of connection and synchronicity, establishing contact between different registers usually thought of as distinct or discrete. In McIntyre’s painting, in multiple layers of texture and colour, the viewer witnesses the slow disintegration of rigidity, and a slow reveal of something far more fluid, and full of disruptive potential.
Emma McIntyre (b. 1990, Auckland) graduated from with a BVA (Painting) from AUT University in 2011, and an MFA from Elam School of Fine Arts, University of Auckland, in 2016. She has exhibited regularly at artist-run spaces since 2015, including in: A Trip to the Beach, Play_station, Wellington (2017); Grid/Colour/Plane, Malcolm Smith, Auckland (2017); and Painting: A Transitive Space, ST Paul St Gallery Three, Auckland (2016). McIntyre’s first major solo exhibition, Pink Square Sways, took place at Hopkinson Mossman, Auckland in November 2017.