Paul Boston’s Magnificent Mystery Art at Niagara Galleries, Melbourne

Melbourne artist Paul Boston has produced a new group of pictures of highly refined aesthetic and philosophical concerns. (Upstairs is a sharp lively show by Dale Hickey.)
Boston_22The pictures are clearly the result of long practice and reflection about illusion and flatness — they draw on cubism, but they also recall something of Braque in their earthy hues and neighbouring tones, as well as the contemplative aspects of Agnes Martin.

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At the same time they are not in the least overworked, and feature freehand charcoal lines. The effect is a kind of loose-limbed gravitas. They have a paradoxical sense of feeling both intimate and monumental.

The pictures condense a great deal of art thought and art history, but decline to play art fashion games. They offer an encounter with a distinctive artistic personality one could describe as ‘otherworldly’.

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Here is the set-up — the viewer stands before the pictures, which by way of illusory means, ask us the questions: How present are we? What is real?

These are the pleasures of Boston’s pictures: their sheer painterly quality (any painter would love them), the endless fascination of their mysterious imagery — the almost recognisable shapes, the shadows, the mazes & nesting Russian doll structures. And their deep philosophical effect.

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Paul Boston has given us a superb show of quiet, magnificent work.

Main image: Paul Boston’s ‘Painting 14’, 2018. The other images are close-up photographs of the same work

At Niagara Galleries till March 2

From the instagram @w.h.chong

 

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