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Grace Wright

Wright studied at Elam School of Fine Arts, successfully gaining honours in 2014. “My time at Elam has taught me to think holistically about what it means to make the art I’m making. It seems painting, internationally, is at a stage where concepts like ‘lightness’, pleasure and beauty are re-surfacing. In terms of inspiration, I’m in love with contem- porary New York painting like; Albert Oehlen, David Reed, Alex Katz. Moving closer to home, I look to Dale Frank, Nicola Farquhar and Kirsten Carlin who all have a great sense of colour relationships and material qualities”, says Wright.

Wright also states “Painting as ‘visual pleasure’, is a concept lying at the heart of my work”. Readily apparent are luscious, organic forms that ooze and flow sensually around each other, like honey pouring out of a bottle. The forms are derived from a sense of “bodili-ness” that is abstract, yet suggestive of the interior and exterior body. Like pieces of a puzzle, these voluptuous, flowing gestures are pleasurable in the way they fit to– gether to complete something. A sense of ‘dynamic-ness’ is created by the use of both tense and harmonious colour combinations. Passionate bright, primary colours are held in tension with greys and pastel tones. This surprising contrast optically pulls the viewer in and out of the painting, contributing to a sense of beauty by contrast with the ‘ugly’.

“Conceptual lightness” as a contemporary idea is also something that interests Wright. These are playful works that don’t attempt to address any directly political or conceptual meaning. Rather, they are about the pleasure of viewing painting in a material and visual sense. Referencing “bodiliness” and oozing, flowing forms seem an exciting way of approaching the history of abstraction.