Susan Andrews

Cutting Across the Field
July 18th – August 4th, 2018


The title for this exhibition Cutting across the field, while conjuring associations with the inaugural Field exhibition at the National Gallery of Victoria in 1968, draws upon the work of an artist and a designer who have influenced the development of my practice, specifically reductive forms that have affinities to sculpture, architecture and painting. The painted relief objects in this exhibition are derived from my research into obtuse and acute shapes that form parts of the whole in the 1950’s constructive painting of Ralph Balson. The coloured shapes in Balson’s works are often perceived as secondary units to the square, rectangle and circle and occupy the spaces in-between and around edges of the major forms. This is the result of spatial consideration and colour relationships in his compositional structure. In a much broader context, angular geometric shapes can be found as support elements in both architecture and many utilitarian objects, but are often overlooked or go unnoticed. During the 1950’s French architect and industrial designer Jean Prouvé also utilised obtuse shapes as major structural components. These manufactured designs were incorporated into many of his industrially produced furniture and demountable house designs, such as the Standard School Chair 1950 and the 8×8 Demountable Houses 1945. Both Balson and Prouvé developed work using asymmetrical elements in painting and industrial design. It was on seeing their work I became interested in how I could utilise a singular secondary element to develop a series of relatable objects that form links to painting and sculpture through an exploration of geometry and space.