Jonny Niesche | You say sfumato, I say sfumato
12.05.23 - 27.06.23
Starkwhite Auckland is pleased to announce its second solo exhibition with Australian artist Jonny Niesche, You say sfumato, I say sfumato. This will also be the inaugural show at our new gallery at 94 Newton Road.
Following his recent exhibition Haptic sfumato at 1310PE (Los Angeles) You say sfumato, I say sfumato repurposes the visual indemnity of Haptic sfumato into a new environment. An alchemist of color, light, and form, Niesche’s work dances with the viewer—a routine of subterfuge and grace, a deft painterly discotheque dressage abound with vitality. The surface of the work is alive, as is the border, changing with you and the time you view it.
“I’m not trying to create an optical illusion as much as I’m trying to manipulate aesthetic experiences. The viewers’ perception is challenged, which hopefully slows down the viewing experience.” –Jonny Niesche
In You say sfumato, I say sfumato, Niesche presents a variety of works. Sfumato is considered to be one of the main techniques of Italian High Renaissance painting. The word describes the gentle gradation and blending of one tone to another. Three works of horizontal rectangles, a motif which he has used separately, has now been melded together. These rectangular works contrast with the unity of the large scale, steel bounded works, which are executed in Niesche’s signature style. Here he has iterated the creation of these works to include a study size and intermediary size, which echoes their fashion week inspiration.
The work carefully elides traditional dichotomies eroding distinctions and celebrating the indeterminacy of its categorization. The moiré effect of the voile surfaces are akin to looking at your reflection in a jewel case—not enough to place the viewer firmly there but with just enough subtlety to remind you of your own subjectivity before the work. Niesche’s work has long drawn inspiration from fashion, cosmetics and music. These three interests coalesce into the works having been inspired by Niesche’s travels to this year’s Milan and Paris Fashion week. Niesche’s work is always infused with his surroundings, and his work is carefully orchestrated to reflect these sensibilities
Jonny Niesche (b. Sydney, 1972) graduated with a Master of Visual Arts, from Sydney University, AU in 2013. Recent solo and group exhibitions include: Haptic sfumato, 1301PE, 2023 Los Angeles; Furry Light at WestLotto Münster (2022); Atoms Encode at 1301SW (2022); Dreaming after all, is a form of planning at 1301PE (2021); poikilos at STARKWHITE (2020); Zeller van Almsick (2020); Ways of Seeing, Art Gallery of South Australia (2019); Sculptur Garden, Vienna (2019); New Acquisitions from the Collection, Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney (2019); Museum of Contemporary Art Commission for Vivid festival, Sydney (2018); Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney (2018); Shut up and Paint, National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne (2016).