For his first solo exhibition at Kate MacGarry Luke Rudolf pitches some truly ’in your face’ statements. Called portraits, they are in fact a long way removed from any comfort zone of easy recognition. The paintings appear spontaneous, chaotic, but take a closer look at the cool grey triangles that intersect swept gestural brushstrokes. The hard edged segments lie before and behind the freehand marks. Each painting is really a calculated composite of different elements: an intricate picture puzzle that re-configures tropes of modernism.
So where is the portrait? Look to the lower edge and you can find the frame of shoulders, scan upwards and there is a sense of where a head should be. However description is forbidden, likeness obliterated by a savage clash of elements. The flat grey segments are jarred and confused by swirls of full-blown cerise pink, swept raw umber, acid emerald, lemon and violet, challenging the viewer to wake up to the nerve tingling experience of full-on action art.
-- Nicholas James
All images courtesy Kate MacGarry Gallery
Installation view, Luke Rudolf, Kate MacGarry Gallery.