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JUNE – ASH KEATING – AUCKLAND

Fox Jensen McCrory are delighted to announce their first exhibition of the work of Australian painter Ash Keating.

Keating’s approach to scale and site are highly ambitious, though his aspirations are deeper and more complex than the bravado that might be inferred by magnitude alone.

Looking at Keating’s Gravity System Response paintings one finds a clear connection to a history of 20th century painters such as Morris Louis, Pat Steir and more recently Katharine Grosse. Their approach to process, the fluidity of material and the implications of nature are shared by Keating. But there is also something of the “action” painter about him – more Callum Innes than Jackson Pollock, especially given Keating’s “un-painting” process, but his capacity and desire to paint large demands logistical and practical solutions.

The chromatic sensitivity that he is able to retain across a grand sequence of canvases is extraordinary. Much of the pigment he lays down on the canvas is ultimately lost to the floor in the vigorous erosion that follows.

The majestic “fresco” on the exterior of the National Gallery of Victoria during the Melbourne Now exhibition in 2013, saw Keating using layers of intense pigments to create a dense chromatic field, but the FJM exhibition shows Keating at his most atmospheric. These new works, titled Remote Nature Response, are closer to his presentation at Dark Mofo in 2015. They carry traces and blushes of colour infused in a cool meteorological phenomenon.

The installation in the Auckland gallery will be immersive in its cinematic breadth but the delicacy of the material and the subtlety of the gradation certainly invite the viewer closer to the screen, closer to the torrent and the spume.