Contemporary Showcase 23

A selection of recent works by CAS Inc. Members

Decoy Café Bar Gallery, 303 Exhibition St, Melbourne

23 July to 18 October 2018

Review by Nathan Moshinsky

The CAS has a win-win relationship with the Decoy Café. Regular exhibitions of paintings by CAS members bring a breath of fresh air to the café, and enhance the dining experience of patrons. However, for CAS artists, a chance to show work, provides an incentive to keep painting.

Transition to Joy, acrylic, 36 x 28 cm, by Susan Gustafson

The current exhibition of paintings by nine CAS members, from 23 July to 18 October 2018, provides a varied and interesting range of work which fulfils all these purposes. Cressida Fox has provided four mixed media works. Framed in a black frame, each painting of a black cat, combines good drawing skills, with subtle colours and interesting composition. Much more realistic than Cressida’s usual style, these works are expressive and capture the appealing qualities of a pet. Susan Gustafson’s work combines strong drawing skills with vibrant colour, making good use of acrylic paint as her chosen medium. Two works (Transition to Joy, and Breaking Free) which are hung against a maroon wall, downstairs, are striking in the play of colour and design. The same qualities are shown in a small work ( Magnolia) which is hung over the kitchen door.

Nick Noir, acrylic, 91 x 61 cm, by Heather King

Black Queen 4, mixed media, 33 x 24 cm, by Cressida Fox

Heather King demonstrates a great skill in the use of acrylics which she has used to provide expressive work. Whitsunday Fish is a vortex of colour and light, and Nick Noir is a powerful dramatic study of a man and a woman set in against a dark background. The same expressive quality is shown in Dancer, a female figure in red tones against a yellow/green background, and Up out of the seat, which has a back view of a bicycle rider.

Three paintings by Loretta Krelle, were done in the abstract expressionist style. Hanging Gardens showed a balance of colour and interesting texture, Mirage, shows careful thought in the selection of colour and composition, but retains a fresh intuitive quality, and Surf’s Up brings out the feeling of the rolling sea. Also, Shadows has a subtle blend of purple and yellow greens with streaks of black very reminiscent of an experience of a walk in the bush.

Hanging Gardens, mixed medium on canvas, 76 x 76 cm, by Loretta Krelle

Rosemary Mangiamele has two works in the show. Both are acrylics on paper. Punto Da Vista, a work of strong design with organic shapes in subtle autumnal colours set in a dark greenish grid, is a very strong work. Her Delicate Descent is a delicate work, using greens and blues in a loose expressive way.

Delicate Descent, acrylic on paper, 98 x 77 cm, by Rosemary Mangiamele

Sunflowers in Teapot, oil on canvas, 30 x 40 cm, by Eva Miller

Two paintings in oils on canvas (Lilacs in Teapot and Sunflowers in Teapot) by Eva Miller, show a confident use of the medium. The paintings are representational depictions of flowers in a teapot. The flowers and teapot are partially abstracted, but retain solid forms. The emphasis is on line, colour, and composition, rather than tone, and the overall effect is compelling.

Shimmer, acrylic on paper, 46 x 42 cm, by Filomena Roberts

Filomena Roberts paints in an abstract style. Four of her works on paper executed in acrylic and acrylic and ink, are part of the show. Shimmer is an interesting work in acrylic, with vertical shapes in varying shades of blue, crossed by a horizontal line in Naples yellow, and a short translucent off-white horizontal bar. This work, as well as her other entries, show a sophisticated play with abstract colours and shapes. There is an intriguing, somewhat surrealist quality in Coffee Catch Up with the use of clocks as part of its composition.

3 Pillars, acrylic on paper, 52 x 42 cm, by Bruce Webb

Bruce Webb's three acrylic paintings (3 Pillars, 4 Pillars and Cosmic Clouds), also in abstract style, show bold linear forms drawn in black paint, with ochre against cool pale green backgrounds.

Vase and Clock, oil, 20 x 30 cm, by Johannes Van Voorst

Two paintings by Johannes Van Voorst made in oils on canvas, are fresh and confident works. A still life, Vase and Clock, is a good tonal study and is well drawn, retaining original drawing marks which enhance the vitality of the work. Landscape is a bold work, in a naïve style, which retains a fresh quality, reminiscent of some of the mark making by Fred Williams.

I hope that members get a chance to enjoy a cup of coffee and see this show.


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