26 Jun 2018

Stieg Persson: Polyphonic

Ian Potter Museum of Art, University of Melbourne

Reviewed by Ranger Thomas

A full two floors of the Ian Potter Museum are installed with Stieg Persson's "Polyphonic," seventy-nine paintings, most of them large, with palettes mainly limited to black, white and gold.

There are strong figurative elements, fully painted, with themes such as death, food, biology, botany, and Swedish death metal. All are deftly rendered in a lighthearted, humorous manner, often belying the heavy subjects they contain.

Persson is above all an abstract painter, sapping powerful images of their meaning and incorporating them into tableaux of formal concerns. Motifs are repeated and reproduced by hand, decontextualizing them and depriving them of their identity. Motherwell's elegies come to mind in comparison, as nonfigurative paintings imbued with meaning. So do the works of Salle or Ruscha, where the images are somehow empty and abstract.

An exhibition of over thirty years of work, "Polyphonic" shows a detached but impressive pursuit of the postmodern project.

Exhibition Stieg Persson: Polyphonic link
Start date 27 Mar 2018
End date 01 Jul 2018
Presenter Ian Potter Museum of Art link
Venue University of Melbourne, Swanton Street, Parkville, AUS map
Image Stieg Persson, Vair, 2017, oil on linen, 183 x 168 centimeters, photo by Christian Capurro, courtesy of the artist and Anna Schwartz Gallery

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