Sutton Gallery is pleased to present Chalk and Clay, an exhibition of new works by Nick Selenitsch that continue his ongoing interest in the idea of play and the relationship of function to frivolity. This new series explores the potentiality of the urban brick wall with a series of studies on paper accompanied by three substantial chalk wall drawings.
In Chalk and Clay, Selenitsch expands upon a series of artworks he created for his exhibition Play at the Shepparton Art Museum. For Selenitsch, an unadorned brick facade holds the promise for creativity and play, ‘they reminded me of a lifetime spent around modernity-inspired sports halls, playgrounds and civic buildings, and bouncing balls against such walls.’ Selenitsch skillfully animates solid functional brickwork and highlights an inherent lucid decorative capacity.
Rearranged into a series of improvised semi-abstract visual compositions these repetitious works speak of the origins of the urban brick wall while simultaneously challenging those boundaries, giving freedom and fluidity to its typically rigid nature. This rhythmic series of brickwork studies on paper titled, Dancepiece, takes its name from the title of Philip Glass’ 1987 album of compositions.
Drawing upon imagery from a variety of sources including games and sport, Selenitsch transforms the markings, colours and forms of these activities into works that playfully subvert the rules of the source. With three large scale site specific wall drawings, he explores both the potential for play through the simplicity of line, and the temporary nature of drawing through his use of chalk, ‘The presence of a drawn chalk line signifies a yet-to-be completed project; a state before actualisation.’ The cues are provided with everyday objects, chalk or bricks, though it is the line markings that activate this media both with game play, though equally with formal geometric abstraction. Selenitsch creates an invitation to study and rediscover our relationship with the urban environment that surrounds us.
Nick Selenitsch received a Bachelor of Fine Art (Painting) with Honours from the VCA in 2003. He completed a Masters in Cultural Material Conservation at the University of Melbourne in 2005. Recent solo exhibitions include Play, Shepparton Art Museum, 2014; Folly, Plinth Projects at Edinborough Gardens, Melbourne, 2014; Relief, Sutton Gallery, Melbourne, 2013; Timing, West Space, Melbourne, 2013; Felt, Sutton Gallery, Melbourne, 2012; Linemarking, Y3K Gallery, Melbourne, 2010; psychic income, Sutton Gallery, Melbourne, 2009; and Linemarking, White Street Project, Frankston, 2009. Recent group exhibitions include Hang in There, Utopian Slopes, Melbourne, 2014; Merchant City, Substation gallery, Melbourne, 2014; Collage: The Heide Collection, curated by Lesley Harding, Heide Museum of Modern Art, 2013; Like Mike, Linden Centre for Contemporary Arts, Melbourne, 2013; Shifting Geometries, Embassy of Australia, Washington, DC, 2012; Rainbow Eaters, West Space, Melbourne, 2012; New Psychedelia, UQ Art Museum, Brisbane, 2011; Freehand: Recent Australian Drawing, Heide Museum of Modern Art, Melbourne, 2010; gone in no time (gone in no time), Experimental Art Foundation, Adelaide, 2009.Selenitsch was the recipient of the 2009 Qantas Travelling Art Prize. In 2010 he undertook an Australia Council Skills and Arts Development studio residency in Helsinki. Between 2006 and 2008 he was a Studio Resident at Gertrude Contemporary, Melbourne.Artist’s profile