22 July - 16 August 2020
Give up the ghost focuses on the atmospheric and ethereal qualities that can emerge through layering colour and texture. Using acrylic paint on canvas, James Lieutenant enlists a variety of techniques to apply the medium to his surface. From dabbing watery paint with a rag, to pushing it through a silkscreen leaving bitmap forms lightly veiled and shimmering on the surface, these works appear highly textured. In reality though, they are smooth, with the paint thinly and expertly applied.
While considering formal and abstract qualities in his works, Lieutenant builds his layering with the idea of embedding hidden or ghostly structures beneath the surfaces. In recent years Lieutenant has been researching and modifying techniques from the historical trajectory of painting, such as sfumato and chiaroscuro, to use within his artworks. However, rather than focusing on these academic or technical aspects of his practice, his concern has shifted to the ethereal and beautiful. Lieutenant is attempting to create an unexplainable aura within these artworks, a special interaction between the work and the viewer when encountered in the flesh. Kate Vassallo
James Lieutenant’s artworks are held in numerous public and private collections across Australia, including Artbank and the National Gallery of Australia’s print collection through Megalo Print Studio. He graduated from the Australian National University School of Art in 2010, with a major in Painting, a minor in Screen Printing and Honours in Photomedia. He has since shown his artwork throughout Australia, including recent solo exhibitions at Bus Projects (Melbourne), Wellington St Projects (Sydney) and Canberra Contemporary Art Space. He was awarded the 2013 Linden Postcard Prize by Linden Centre for Contemporary Art (Victoria) and was selected for the invitation only National Artists' Self-Portrait Prize at The University of Queensland Art Museum in 2015. His work has been written about in Art Collector, Art Monthly Australia and The Art Life. Give up the ghost will be Lieutenant’s 14th solo exhibition and his second at Galerie pompom.
image details: James Lieutenant, Haven (2020), acrylic on canvas, 68 x 59 cm