Thursday, 27 November 2014

Max MacDonald 
Chasing the Paint: New Works by Max MacDonald  
November 12-30, 2014  

Immediately upon viewing, Max MacDonald’s Chasing the Paint evokes senses of passion, a certain chaos of feeling, and an appreciation for colour that begs your eye to engage. 

Each piece in MacDonald’s newest collection embodies a distinguished, if complex strength, aggressive only in its honest capturing of the trials and tribulations of any relationship. Although abstract in nature, Chasing the Paint is a careful composition; deliberately searching for peace through his work, MacDonald is overt in his desire to genuinely and completely expose the active tensions that infuse and often determine any interaction. Seemingly anarchic, it is only with further study that each piece reveals a very controlled landscape of feeling, MacDonald himself pulling back as not to overwhelm the viewer, or himself. Large in scale and bright in colour does not detract from MacDonald’s skillful storytelling, but rather encourages a deepening in the viewer’s belief that the complicated can be both beautiful and full of meaning. 

MacDonald’s title is admittedly tongue-in-cheek. His self-professed “wrestling” through the process of painting speaks less of his insecurity and more to the very complexity of conversation that he is attempting to capture in his works. MacDonald’s precarious relationship to each canvas is reflected in the composition, acting instead to humanize an often alienating ‘abstract’ genre. It is here that we (initially engaged by the exciting colour and movement) join with the artist to strive not for perfection, but excellence. 

MacDonald’s Chasing the Paint is a gentle reminder that struggle in this world is as unavoidable as it is inspiring and, like oil rainbows in puddles of water, contrast is as grabbing as it is humbling. MacDonald demonstrates that a slow and steady evolution, although lengthy, can yield the most honest (and beautiful) of results.  

- Greer Brabazon for Gerrard Art Space 

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