In her first solo exhibition in Australia since the acclaimed, Reverse Cinema, (Sullivan+Strumpf 2015) Judy Millar will present a series of new large-scale paintings and works on paper which explore her deep connection to the landscape of the West Coast of Auckland, New Zealand where the artist lives and works. The exhibition coincides with Millar’s inclusion in Unpainting, a large international overview of abstraction at the Art Gallery of New South Wales in Sydney. This precedes a major survey exhibition of her work next year at Kunstmuseum St. Gallen, Zurich.
The golden sunsets, black sands and wild expanse of the Pacific Ocean off New Zealand’s Western Coastline, imbue these works with a palpable sense of place; a place which Millar images through painted gesture and an ongoing consideration of the relationship between surface, space and time. As with her celebrated immersive environments, these spatial paintings invite the viewer to consider the artist’s experience of space and time merging.
The Land is in everything I do...The sunsets, the evening light on the water, the colours. I think they just go into your brain and you take them up somehow – there’s a kind of glowing-ness.
– Judy Millar quoted in, Alison Veness, “Up is Heaven, Down is Ocean”, 10 Magazine, February 2018
The paintings in My Body Pressed continue this line of thought, invoking a sense of the body’s interaction with nature in their blood-red, jade green, and bruising purple tones, which also recall the bleed of coloured inks in comic books. In this way Millar draws attention to the often ambiguous and subjective relationship between the real world and the mediated world of images, and the ways in which that uneasy alliance can influence our experience of painting.