26 March – 25 April 2015

David Noonan presents a new series of silk-screen linen collages in his eighth solo exhibition at Roslyn Oxley Gallery.

David Noonan’s work is known for its atmospheric complexity, in which the figurative is superimposed with the abstract. The sensitive composition of Noonan’s work is guided by a formal interest in the graphic and textural elements of the picture plane, as they create a play of illusion, reflection and reality. 

Within Noonan’s new body of work, he revisits symbols and figures (such as the owl and actor), which have been developed through more than a decade of artistic practice. In particular, we find recollections of the artist’s previous engagement with performance, as it references the psychological processes of self-projection and identity construction. Japanese theatrical performers captured in moments of transformation, greet visitors as they enter the exhibition space. This leads to the main gallery, where the stage is set for four distinctly powerful scenes. Each layered work responds to the unique formal qualities of its source material, creating haunting atmospheres of complex historical and cultural reference.

Particular to Noonan’s new body of work, is its relationship to the art of collecting and use of trompe l’oeil. Over a period of years, Noonan composed his own collection of early Japanese Furoshiki textiles, unearthing examples adorned with auspicious symbols of the chrysanthemum flower and other traditional Japanese design motifs. Noonan captures the patterned details of the fabric’s sashiko stitching (a Japanese word that translates to ‘little stabs’), hand-printing them onto fine linen. Through a process of collage, he reconstructs the pleats and patchwork of the Furoshiki, simulating the beauty of these traditions through contemporary artistic methods. 

David Noonan sophisticated handling of materiality and compositional nous are brought to the fore in his latest work. The elusive quality of his figures, veiled by abstracted forms and textual traces, creates a world of illusion that is at once evocative, playful and contemplative.

Denise Thwaites

David Noonan has exhibited nationally and internationally for almost two decades. Recent solo exhibitions include David Noonan, Contemporary Art Museum, St. Louis (2011); The Glasgow International Festival of Visual Art, The Mitchell Library Glasgow, UK (2010); David Noonan, Australian Centre for Contemporary Art, Melbourne (2009); David Noonan, Chisenhale Gallery, London (2008) and David Noonan, Palais de Tokyo, Paris (2007). One Day, Something Happens: Paintings Of People (curated by Jennifer Higgie), The Arts Council Collection, Leeds Art Gallery, Leeds (2015); Theatre of the World (curated by Jean-Hubert Martin), MONA - Museum of Old and New Art in collaboration with TMAG - Tasmanian Museum of Art Gallery, Hobart (2013); L’ange de l’histoire (curated by Nicholas Bourriaud), Palais des Beaux-Arts, Paris, France (2013); and Altermodern, Tate Triennial, Tate Britain, London (2009). Noonan’s work is held in major public and private collections such as the Museum of Modern Art, New York, the British Arts Council, UK, the Art Gallery of New South Wales, the National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, the Sender Collection, New York and the Rubell Collection, Florida. David Noonan has been represented by Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery since 1999.

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