NZ Art Show Online

Richard Thurston


-Richard Thurston | Profile

Medium | Mixed Media on Canvas and Digital Photography.

Over the last few years, I have used the circle as a symbol in many of my works. It has no hierarchy, it’s very democratic and implies natures completeness. The artwork then becomes the symbol and draws the viewer into the work.

Since the start of 2015 I have moved away from a symbolic object and back to the subject matter on a traditional canvases and mixed media digital photography.

I’ve started exploring and questioning why I have sometimes had an indifference of particular artistic jargon and pictorial styles.

I've redirected myself to explore the word ‘juxtaposition’, and the practice of landscape paintings with a sense of humility. I’ve tried to leave my subjective predisposition at the ‘doors of perception.’

“When the doors of perception were cleansed everything would appear to man, as it is, Infinite.” William Blake

It’s the acceptance of the unknown and to not to disregard it so easily but to allow ourselves to embrace the exploration of our indifferences.
We all reside in our own comfort zones of philosophies but we must critique and challenge our own subjective judgements and to where they came from.

The Modernist Line Juxtaposed and The Abstracted Landscape

These works explore the juxtaposition of a modernist rectangular line with a landscape subject matter. The focus is to invite the viewer to enquiry why compose a bold line over a perfectly neutral image. The modernist line is a brutal opposite to the organic world, it’s a man-made ideology. There are no straight lines or right angles in nature. These conflicting elements can float in harmony once a deliberate composition is prescribed. They push and shove each other, in an orchestrated dance of opposites attract, it’s a clear juxtaposition.

The modernist line is absent in my other artworks. The degrees of abstraction changes from artwork to artwork. These works attempt to provoke the viewer to shift away from the subject matter and to simply rejoice in a field of composed colours.

Key Influences

My first art teacher was the late Wellington artist Rob Taylor, who made a substantial impression on me. Taylor was an abstract expressionist and produced large works, which are in a number of New Zealand collections. I have to credit him for encouraging me to become an artist.

A trip to South America and Europe in 2009 and just recently New York, enabled me to visit a number of collections. However, one experience that proved exceptionally worthwhile was Mark Rothko’s retrospective exhibition of the Four Seasons restaurant murals held at London’s Tate Modern.
The very large monolithic canvases appealed to me first as a viewer, then as a participant of something unexpectedly greater than the artwork itself.
Rothko’s paintings are what great artwork is supposed to do, to shift the participant willing or unwilling to an emotional transcendence. As I stood in front of Rothko’s extremely large canvases, the colours began to pulse and blur back and forth, creating an illusion of monolithic hues breathing in front of you, giving life to the painting. The show was a great lesson in how an artist can connect the viewer through colour or the absence of it.

I aim to produce work that also applies American artist Shea Hembrey’s, artistic criteria of the three ‘H’ rule.
Head, Heart and Hands.
Head: Intelligent and conceptual work,
Heart: Love and passion for the work,
Hands: The craft and skill in which the work is created.

Other Influential artists are Robert Motherwell, Marcel Duchamp, Franz Kline, Max Gimblett, Jean Michel Basquiat and William Turner, to name a few.

For any further information please contact me.
Richard Thurston
022 64 55 800

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