Nick Selenitsch Pool Noodle

22 June –
20 July 2024

Installation view
Nick Selenitsch
Pool Noodle, 2024
Sutton Gallery, Melbourne

Photography Andrew Curtis

To accompany the exhibition Nick Selenitsch – Australian Crawl (Savage Garden, Melbourne, 2022), a catalogue essay imagined the following scenario: what if Piet Mondrian was a swimming fanatic rather than a Jazz tragic? Consequently, Mondrian emigrates late in his career to Bondi instead of New York. The fiction continues: Mondrian dutifully swims every morning. He becomes a member of the Bondi Surf Life Saving Club. He teaches swimming on the weekends to help support his art practice. Meanwhile, the local anti-modern arts establishment barely registers his arrival. 

Pool Noodle picks up the narrative. After a period of acclimatisation, Mondrian’s painting style begins to noticeably evolve. Circles emerge, completely at odds with his earlier linear guidelines. Rather than pondering the eternal, he also starts to consider his paintings as poetic accompaniments to his morning swims. The optical qualities of his paintings begin to echo a submergence into water. Transcendence becomes saturation.

These stories do not explain these paintings. No words can. Yet a fictional tale seems apt to logically relate to a series of artworks that conspicuously embrace a pool of contradictions (abstraction/symbolism; universalism/provincialism; grandiosity/flippancy). Swimming in this pluralistic space seems particularly potent amongst a current cultural and political atmosphere of singular declarations. Again, these are words. These artworks are more musical in spirit, or perhaps more sportingly driven: the dot pattern is derived from the tactile stippling on a basketball. After visiting the exhibition, maybe you should go for a swim? 

– Nick Selenitsch, 2024

Selected solo exhibitions

Pool Noodle, Sutton Gallery, Melbourne, 2024; And, &, The Middle Playground, MADA Gallery, Melbourne, 2023; Australian Crawl, Savage Garden, 2022; Nick Selenitsch: Form & The Universe of Colour, Benalla Art Gallery, Benalla, 2021; &, Sutton Gallery, Melbourne, 2021; The Mind on Fire, Incinerator Gallery, Melbourne, 2018; Kangaroo Court, Latrobe Regional Gallery, Morwell, 2015; Nick Selenitsch – Play, Shepparton Art Museum, Shepparton, 2014; Chalk and Clay, Sutton Gallery, Melbourne, 2014; Folly, Plinth Projects, Edinburgh Gardens, Fitzroy, 2014; Relief, Sutton Gallery, Melbourne, 2013; Felt, Sutton Gallery, Melbourne, 2012; Structural Goals, Sutton Gallery, Melbourne, 2011; Linemarking, Y3K Gallery, Melbourne, 2010; psychic income, Sutton Gallery, Melbourne, 2009.

Selected group exhibitions

Palermo was thinking of Monk, I was thinking of J. P. Melville in a thicket, 1301SW, Melbourne, 2023; Question the Space, Walker Street Gallery, Dandenong, 2023; It’s not you, it’s me, Fiona and Sydney Myer Gallery, University of Melbourne, Melbourne, 2023; Recreation, Project 8, Melbourne, 2023; Overdrawn, Margaret Lawrence Gallery, Melbourne, 2018; Design & Play, RMIT Design Hub, Melbourne, 2016; TarraWarra Biennial: Endless Circulation, TarraWarra Museum of Art, Healesville, 2016; Merchant Cities, The Substation, Melbourne, 2014; The Gathering II: A survey exhibition of Australian sculpture, Wangaratta Art Gallery, Wangaratta, 2014; Pattern, Glen Eira City Council Gallery, Melbourne, 2014; Melbourne Now, National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, 2013; Collage: The Heide Collection, Heide Museum of Modern Art, Melbourne, 2013; New Psychedelia, UQ Art Museum, Brisbane, 2011; Freehand: Recent Australian Drawing, Heide Museum of Modern Art, Melbourne, 2010.

Artist’s profile