Sydney Ball: The Colour Paintings 1963-2007 - University of South Australia

Uploaded by UniSouthAustralia on 23.11.2009


When Anne Loxley, the curator of the
survey show, said that the exhibition
was going to Adelaide at the Samstag
I looked up the museum's website and saw
the building and thought "Whoa, what a magnificent building"
and checked the space and I was so
pleased that the paintings were coming to this
marvelous space and as you can see
it's just been superbly hung
and suberb professionalism with
everything and it just looks right.
The Band one was done in New York
but from that moment on and when I came
back to Australia, living in South Australia
at the time, I painted all the works
back here so there's that nice
correlation now of being at home so to speak.
The paintings reflected
an expression of how I wanted
to see my work evolve over a long period.
I wanted to find myself, so to speak
in the 20th century to see what was
important to me as a young painter
and it came under the term of
well, several terms to describe it
both, Colour Form, Colour Feild, Hard Edge
Classical Abstraction and
there was that general excitement to what I was perceiving
at the time and the series from the
Bands developed into the Canto paintings
which I started in New York at the end of
'63 going into '64 and then
when I came back to Australia towards the end of '65
kept on developing the Canto series
I went from the Cantos to the Persian paintings which
I wanted to use a more decorative sort of
feel to colour.
From the Persians it went into a total
change then with the Modular Constructions
and I thought, can I take these shapes
out of the rectangle, take it out of the square
push it out into the negative area
what's normally the negative area.
This is what I did
was to break open that form of the rectangle and square.
I reverted back to painting
with a group of works called the Link paintings
and that term sort of describes
the intent again, to go from the Links
into the Stains.
I closed off the white areas
and made them an all over paint
structure and that was where Montauk Red comes in
It comes back to making marks with a brush
at the same time putting paint on in broad areas
and the person I looked to with that
particular group was Monet
and one of the great paintings
is the all over paintings where he takes out the
horizontal line, that which makes it a landscape
depicts it as a landscape.
There's the sky, the horizon
here's the water lilly field. He takes that out
and all of a sudden it becomes very frontal.
Pollock sees this.
This is one of the influences of Jackson Pollock.
This whole series of the all overness
from edge to edge, top to bottom
the saturation of this magnificent paint area
this field of colour, this American content of
what painting can be
with this strong sense of colour, expansive colour.
It's not contained like Cubism within the parameters of this
this area here, it's VOOM!
It often looks you know, sort of chaotic
you know, pouring on paint and sort of hoping that
something's going to happen, but everything's highly complex
and very much sort of
decided before it happens.
I'm not content with just sort of leaving it and thinking
"Oh well, it's a nice painting, ho hum"
Painting's become chewing gum for the mind
when that sort of thing's happened.