JOHN NIXON | EPW: Colour-Music

Gertrude Contemporary is proud to present two major projects by highly regarded Australian artist John Nixon. A solo project in the main gallery space and a group show curated by Nixon in the front gallery space.

Art Exhibition previously on at Gertrude Contemporary in Victoria, Australia.
From Friday 01 June 2012 to Saturday 30 June 2012
Launch Friday 01 June 2012, 6-8pm

JOHN NIXON | EPW: Colour-Music image

Published by anonymous on Monday 28 May 2012.
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John Nixon’s solo exhibition at Gertrude Contemporary depicts the relationship between his painting practice and his interest in music. Entitled EPW: Colour-Music, the exhibition in the main gallery space is a collection of 25 paintings on board which line the gallery walls. Forming part of the series entitled ‘Experimental Painting Workshop’ (EPW), this ongoing project was established by Nixon in the late 1970s. EPW serves as the title to distinguish different sets of formalist inquiries organized into various groups, the largest of which is EPW: POLYCHROME, made up of monochromatic paintings on board and canvas, and this grouping forms the central trajectory of the Nixon’s work.

The paintings on exhibition at Gertrude Contemporary, EPW: Colour-Music form part of EPW: POLYCHROME established in 2006. These works are pictorial scores that can be used to generate musical performances based on the organisational codes underpinning the series. This series of paintings is comprised of monochromatic geometric shapes set against a united background structure. The continuous structure operates like a grid or stave on which the shapes are plotted. Whilst presented as a series of paintings in their own right, EPW: Colour-Music also implies function outside the boundaries of pure painting, where abstract painting can conceptually expand to encompass wider spheres for activity and endeavour.

The exhibition also includes an installation in which Nixon has created coloured-coded blocks that correspond with the paintings and sit over the white notes of a keyboard. The presence of the keyboard in the exhibition space further compels a reading of the works in unison as the tools and language of minimalism, set against a visible graphic score for possible future preceedings.

Saturday 16 June, 4pm, halfway through the exhibition, there will be a concert at which Nixon’s paintings will be ‘performed’ by a group of musicians. Each painting contains a coded notational structure, which will form the basis of an interpretative score, that the musicians will play. The Gertrude Ensemble (a group of musicians that have been put together by musician Francis Plagne) will collaborate to play the work. The concert will be held in the main gallery space at 4pm sharp and there will be limited seating, so we recommend arriving early.

John Nixon was born in Sydney 1949. Lives in Briar Hill, Melbourne. First solo exhibition, Pinacotheca, Melbourne (1973). Selected by Germano Celant to represent Australia at Documenta 7, Kassel, Germany (1982). Winner of Clemenger Contemporary Art Award, Melbourne (1999). Recipient of Australia Council Fellowship Award (2001/02). Regular solo exhibitions at: Anna Schwartz Gallery, Melbourne; Sarah Cottier Gallery, Sydney; Goddard de Fiddes Gallery, Perth; Sue Crockford Gallery, Auckland; Hamish McKay Gallery, Wellington; Galerie Mark Muller, Zurich. Since 2000 has held large-scale exhibitions surveying aspects of his work from 1968-2005 at the following museums and galleries: Kunstmuseum Singen, Germany; Kunstmuseum Baselland, Basel, Switzerland; Stiftung für Konkrete Kunst, Reutlingen, Germany; Australian Centre for Contemporary Art, Melbourne; the Art Gallery of Western Australia, Perth; and works from 2006-2007 TarraWarra Museum of Art, Healesville. His work is included in all major State Museum collections in Australia.

Opening Friday 1 June 2012 6-8pm
Exhibition continues to 30 June 2012

Image caption:
John Nixon
(Music Composition)
Painting on Yamaha electric piano with colour coded keys
photograph in the artists house
Courtesy of Anna Schwartz Gallery