Born 1975, Czechoslovakia
Lives and works in Sydney
Represented by nanda\hobbs
4 May — 21 May 2022
Renata Pari-Lewis is a drawer’s painter. Her understanding of tone and form that flows elegantly from her brush is both nuanced and delicate. It is a skill that has been developed over the years of her dedicated pictorial practice in drawing, printmaking and painting. At the core of her oeuvre is a relentless search for visual truth and atmospheric sincerity within her compositions.
This exhibition, titled Familiar, unfamiliar, is a study of the private spaces of celebrated creative figures. The interiors that artists and writers treat as a sanctuary is revealed. It is their bubble¾inhabited out of the spotlight. Pari-Lewis probes the space, hunting for clues, creating a rich intrigue for her voyeur audience. Her process peels back the layers of visual influences that inform her subjects’ idiosyncratic narrative. With a meticulous eye, the artist identifies the detailed moments that describe her subjects’ trope, yet she allows us to superimpose our own narrative within the frame. Throughout the paintings within the exhibition, Pari-Lewis walks a line between an accurate pictorial representation and an abstract sensibility drawn from the objects within.
There is a beautifully random quality to the spaces she examines. An owl, peering at us from the painted canvas, is seemingly aware of our intrigue of the space of installation artist, Janet Laurence. The collecting gene runs deep in Laurence’s practice. Objects are located by a hand that has a clear intention. The act of opening one’s personal space for investigation is a powerful nod to the integrity that Pari-Lewis possesses in the eyes of her creative colleagues. Through her methodology, there is a heightened intrigue¾one observes a palpable sense of reverence for her subjects. Indeed, the interiors hold a translucent calmness¾a sensibility reminiscent of the work of Pierre Bonnard. Like Bonnard, Pari-Lewis weaves light through the picture plane. The order or chaos of her chosen space gives way to harmony and, in doing so, gives us a study of her subject that, in many respects, reveals more than we would ever glean from the traditional portrait.
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