Meditating on the Unknown
Auckland based artist Matthew Browne plays hide and seek with visual phantasms that come from the well of the unconscious.
Matthew Browne’s new exhibition entitled Phantasmagoria (a shifting series of phantasms or illusions) brings together 60 mixed media and collage works on paper with a selection of large paintings on canvas.
The works on paper appear as an image that’s new and surprising. It’s a game of hide and seek Browne says, to try and find a sense of meaning in something that I am so unacquainted with initially. I’m speculating on getting to know the unknown.
Extracting these images begins as a kind of meditation, an emptying of conscious thought and a result embracing of impulse and chance. Paintings are freely coaxed out through a seemingly haphazard process akin to doodling. Gradually, they become more consolidated as Browne deliberates, shifting back and forth between the rehearsed and impromptu until a particular form is exposed to him through this exchange.
With their biomorphic, curvilinear forms and crisp application of clean, flat colour, it’s of little surprise to Browne that his work has been described most recently as abstractions that allude to the physiognomies of cartoon animations.