There And Back, 17 April - 19 May 2012
The demands of his role as Head of Visual Arts at AUT University have meant Simon McIntyre has been conspicuously absent from the dealer gallery circuit for the past several years. His recent decision, however, to step down as Head of Department while retaining his position as Senior Lecturer in Painting means Auckland will again be able to see his quietly evocative abstractions.
Mark Amery once described McIntyre as having "... the reductive sensibility of a minimalist but not the hard edges ... the consciousness of expressionism but not the angst". His paintings use visual elements collected from the world around him - very often fugitive events such as reflections on windows or shadows on tiles - to inspire motifs that hover and shimmer above washes of subtly layered colour. Although his paintings can be read as being pure abstractions, it is their connection to the real that sets up their tension and emotional resonance. And, although a viewer might initially be drawn in by their perfect compositional balance, it is the subtle flaws and blemishes that hold the attention.
In an essay for McIntyre's 2004 exhibition 'Facture/Faktura', David Cross writes that "... his hand palpitates. It wavers and it marks the surface of the canvas or wall in very particular and distinctive ways. He is seduced by mathematical order but wants a bit of gesture on the side ... Both languages enable him to build an art of controlled slippage."