26 April - 7 May 2016 fortyfivedownstairs, Melbourne
Tina Douglas strips back the language of painting to reveal the underlying tension between intuitive mark-making, expansive fields and the self-imposed rule of the grid.
In her first solo exhibition at fortyfivedownstairs, Douglas presents eight new canvases, seven large rectangular and one square work on linen. Collectively, these largely monochromatic works refine her practice as a tightrope walker, perched precariously between the imagined and the real, structured and unrestrained, and rational and emotive.
Douglas occupies, quite literally, a space in-between. Neither figurative nor abstract she eschews traditional three-dimensional configurations or flat, non-objective space. In its place Douglas offers a skilful (and often playful) interweaving of line, form and colour that changes dramatically from one canvas to the next. She turns the rules of art upside down. Masking tape, essential to eliminating the hand of the artist in hard edge painting now helps to produce subtle textures, bleeds and runs. Unstable reflections are introduced, along with free-form molecular shapes, pulsating rhythms and the suggestion of day and night. Although these aspects have a basis in the observable world they are more felt than seen, something there, but not quite.
Rodney James, March 2016