‘Physical Thinking’ 2017

Arthouse Gallery

The practice of Melbourne-based ar tist Miranda Skoczek engages with abstraction via painterly plays with form, colour, composition and gesture. Borrowing from the history of image making – from the iconography of ancient cultures to the decorative ar ts and domestic architectures – Skoczek creates lavish, celebratory works that embody her resonant fixation with beauty. This appropriative practice, where disparate images from myriad sources are recontextualised, fosters an allusive oscillation between antiquity and contemporaneity.

‘Physical Thinking’ continues Skoczek’s Formalist and Colourist approaches to ar t. The paintings center on the pure physicality and alchemy of painting, channeling the modern philosophy of ‘ar t for ar t’s sake. The artist divests the work of preconceived narratives and f ixed meanings, carving open an aesthetic space where sensuality and temporality converge. Together, these new paintings represent a coalescence of dualities: abstraction and representation; the everyday and the whimsical; antiquity and modernity; shiny and matte; raw and ref ined. Working in the tradition of automatic painting, the ar tist builds the works organically, mark by mark, without any preconceived ideas. In this way, the paintings metonymically act as material fragments of Skoczek’s mind, translating a multitude of visual stimuli from sources like Instagram, the Internet, books and magazines. One such fount of inspiration for this series was the paper cuts of the Otomi tribe in Mexico, their naïve, semi – representational aesthetic guidingSkoczek’s abstraction. Opulent layers of paint build a tension that both obscures and illuminates her elusive subjects. Subtle hints of a floor, wall or ceiling, for example, precipitate elusive imaginings of a room or building.

Ultimately, in her endless search for beauty, Skoczek creates a meditative, visual world that appeals as much to the eye as it does to the mind.