Wild Things: A Place Unknown
David Laity
August 3, 2021
-
August 28, 2021
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Metro Gallery presents Wild Things: A Place Unknown, an exhibition of recent paintings by David Laity.


Paintings within the current exhibition continue the artist’s ongoing exploration of the two parallel themes within his oeuvre: the nude and the environment.


Laity’s background as a professional cartoonist is seen in the laconicity of shape and form. The focus on the silhouette against the uncluttered abstracted backgrounds gives his images immediacy and clarity.


While the limited colour palette also references his background as a graphic artist, it is also reflective of his fascination with the dominant colour schemes of the 1950s.

The 1950s were the era when, after the end of the Second World War, women replaced men in the workforce—hence the empowering uniformity of frocks and coats within the paintings. Within the privacy of the domestic setting, the sensuality reigns supreme and the individuality is regained.


The second tranche of the exhibition focuses on David’s immediate surroundings. His home and studio are located on the outskirts of Benalla in regional Victoria, where the interactions between the artist and the local flora and fauna are regular and spontaneous.


Collectively, the works reflect concerns about the environment, conservation, and regeneration. The life of the artist can be a lonely experience, especially in the context of the recent lockdowns and travel restrictions. These sentiments are expressed in this exhibition through the paintings of dogs and skulls, both a long-standing synecdoche for the artist’s self-portraits.


David's use of Hessian fabric imbues the work with sensuous texturality, while the build-up of pigments gives his paintings rich saturation and warm glow.


The Wangaratta-born painter, sculptor, and graphic artist began his career as a cartoonist in the 1980s, publishing regularly in regional and metropolitan periodicals. His graphic oeuvre garnered him a curatorial following with survey exhibitions in the Benalla and Shepparton regional galleries and a publication of a monograph, ‘It’s a Rat Race’. Focusing from the 1990s on painting and sculpture, Laity launched his exhibition career with the iconic Jackman Gallery in St Kilda. His highly individual, memorable, and immediately recognisable images have garnered a collectors' following, and his works have been acquired by a number of public, corporate, and private collections.

David Laity
Wild Things: A Place Unknown
by
David Laity
August 3, 2021
-
August 28, 2021
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