Squaring Things Flat

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Artist Tom Mackie mixes together the language of absurdism with ready-made objects. He transforms pre-existing materials into visual puzzles that change our understanding of them.

Squaring Things Flat is from a series of painterly beige abstract works which hold a secret. Their understated elegance belies their materials; what we see is actually the undersides of found paintings and canvases—usually naive landscapes, still-lives or artworks likely to be reproduced on a factory assembly line—that have been turned over, re-stretched and re-assembled. These new works subvert the intent of manufactured art production.

Layered with the artist’s and unknown others’ mark-making and housed within the artist’s sculpted wooden frames, these inverted paintings invite us to see behind what is often overlooked in everyday life.

Tom Mackie graduated in printmaking from Otago School of Fine Art, Dunedin in 2009. He has exhibited throughout Australia and New Zealand, at Enjoy Public Art Gallery, The Young, Meanwhile and Precinct 35 in Wellington, Blue Oyster in Dunedin, Box Copy in Brisbane, and TCB and C3 Contemporary in Melbourne. He was awarded a Merit award in the Parkin Drawing Prize in 2015, has work held in private & public collections, and lives and works in Wellington.
Jute and artists frame
370 x 480mm
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