Michael Craik

This article is from 2007.

Crisp realisations from pared down painting

Modernism isn’t going anywhere, it seems. Maybe we were too quick at dismissing it through prefixing the term with ‘post’. Deconstructive approaches to Modernism muddy the waters, reinforcing the notion that Modernism is more of an attitude, a pose.

Michael Craik’s paintings at Amber Roome will show that this is indeed the case. ‘If you were to press me for an artistic influence then I would say that my desire to pare my work down for this new exhibition has come from an appreciation of the work of Ellsworth Kelly,’ he says. The extreme flatness of Kelly’s work meets an obvious obsession with modernist architecture in Craik’s work. Despite the fact that, in his previous exhibitions, the artist has been concerned with a kind of hyper photo realism, this was always met with sleek chrome and glass surfaces, and the flat matt renderings of architectural details.

‘My new paintings will differ from my previous work in the sense that I have abandoned any photographic quality,’ says Craik. ‘The new work is now monochromatic – no pictorial references remain.’ This analytical approach to painting (similar to an early Cubist rejection of colour to concentrate on form alone) further removes the representational element that was latent in the early paintings. The visual noise that finds its way into some photorealist works will also be removed – these paintings are crisp realisations rather than heavily worked compositions.

Amber Roome, 558 3352, until 30 Aug,
Wed–Sat 11am–6pm, Free.

Michael Craik: Razed to the Ground

  • 4 stars

New series of arrestingly intimate small works painted on aluminimum that continue Craik's fascination with the geometric Modernist architecture.

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