Richard Maloy | Raw
27.07.23 - 27.08.23
The series of work that forms Raw, Richard Maloy’s latest exhibition at Starkwhite Auckland, offers a new twist to an ongoing line of enquiry. An artist who increasingly takes a hunter-gatherer approach by drawing on found objects, Maloy’s exhibition alludes equally to established genres of art and close observations of daily life.
Maloy is a multi disciplinary artist whose practice has continually investigated the making of art, drawing on performativity and process. His earlier work mined the hidden procedures of creating art work and highlighted durational practices, while new work has began to increasingly turn its attention to the process of becoming an artist. Raw explores different moments of the creative act, focusing on the working process of Maloy’s students at the art school where he teaches.
Presenting selected segments of painting palettes used by students that he treats as source material, Maloy creates work that sits between mediums and destabilises the viewer’s understanding. This is territory he’s mined before, his practice known for how it seeks to destabilise and shift art’s medium-specific languages and histories. What initially appear to be painterly gestural abstractions ripe with colour and energy have, in fact, been produced from photographic and digital process. Further obscuring the audience’s reading of the work is that these pieces complete their life as paintings, being paint pigment on canvas, which offers the allusion of a familiar textural surface we’ve come to expect.
Far from simply a document of an unknown student, a random day, and a discarded tool, in Maloy’s hands these palettes – layered with paint and representing moments of the material process before application – become a starting point for his own practice. Translating them through the camera and precisely selecting variations of light, crop, and scale, what was a discarded tool reaches its end point as a finished art work. For over a century artists have been working with everyday objects and posing the question of where a work of art begins and ends. Rather than offering simple solutions to this question, Maloy characteristically adds another layer to its complexity. Here fragments of the inadvertent expressions of a budding painter have been caught and shaped into an art work by an experienced artist who has woven something new and thoughtful out of the everyday and discarded.
Zara Stanhope’s (director Govett-Brewster Art Gallery / Len Lye Centre) poignant observations on Maloy’s practice, once again ring true: Maloy’s work pays heed to teaching models and the evolving processes of art practice and research, and the translation that comes into play in any study of an archetype. Essential to Maloy’s own practice is also a concern to expose the artist’s material processes of making. He frequently discusses his interest in bringing the procedures usually restricted to the studio into public space; of giving the audience a window onto the workplace.
Richard Maloy belongs to a generation of artists who upon graduation in the late 1990s, were compelled to find a new artistic language through their inheritance of the competing legacies of the 1960s and the 1970s: minimalism, process art, performance, and conceptualism. Like these art movements, Maloy’s practice is attuned to the politics of space and time. His multi-disciplinary practice has included sculpture, photography, installation, and moving image, always drawing on performativity and process to create work.
Recent exhibitions include: Things I have Seen, Govett-Brewster Art Gallery / Len Centre, New Plymouth (2018/2019); Things I have Seen, Youkobo Art Space, Tokyo (2017); Yellow Structure, Encounters, Art Basel Hong Kong (2016), curated by Alexie Glass-Kantor: Freedom Farmers, Auckland Art Gallery (2013), Curated by Natasha Conland; All the things I did, Starkwhite, Auckland (2013); Big Yellow, Queensland Art Gallery/Gallery of Modern Art, Asia Pacific Triennial (2013) curated by Amita Kirpalani; Inside Outside Upside Down, City Gallery, Wellington (2010), curated by Heather Galbraith; Green Structure Part Two, SCAPE Biennial (2010), curated by Blair French; Raw Attempts, ARTSPACE, Auckland (2009/10), curated by Emma Bugden; For Keeps: Sampling recent acquisitions from the Chartwell Collection, Auckland Art Gallery (2009), curated by Natasha Conland; Remember New Zealand, Sao Paulo Biennial, Brazil (2004), curated by Tobias Berger.