The exhibition, Colour can be Sound, by Michael Smither is currently on show at the Pah Homestead. New Zealand Herald’s art writer, T.J. McNamara, took a closer look at the exhibition and reviewed it in his weekly column, T J McNamara on the arts.
‘The other large exhibition is work by Michael Smither at the Pah Homestead. It is called Colour Can Be Sound, although it is really about how sound can be colour. This is a topic that fascinates Smither, a composer himself. He has the capacity to hear sounds as colour and has incorporated his sensation in abstract paintings and sculptures. The past is evoked by some early works which, Expressionist as they are, show he has always had a highly individual palette of intense colours that make his work recognisable.
The early works include (upstairs) St Francis Rolling in Thistles, 1968, which has a shock factor. At the top are two rutting pigs. The saint is agonising over the carnality that humans share with animals. It is intensely humanistic, but all the recent work shown here is rarefied abstraction. Painting is static while music is progressive; yet it is almost impossible to comment on the abstract art without falling back on the vocabulary of music. In these paintings the titles are sometimes specific. A system of harmonising concentric circles is titled Green Canvas – e flat. Downstairs, one room is dominated by six large Polyphonic Charts. These are grand swinging loops of colour that suggest solemn chords.
The outstanding works are the stacks of short pieces of brightly coloured wood; shading from one colour to another, they suggest the progress of music. Harmonic Chant is particularly vibrant. The whole show is a large experiment that has produced some delightful results.’
To read the full review please click on the link below:
New Zealand Herald