LIBERTY BATTSON: The Fix
Feb 20 – Mar 12, 2020
20 February – 14 March 2020
6:00 PM, 6 Jellicoe Avenue Rosebank, 2196
It is not easy being an artist.
The idea of art as a career baffles many and yet, every day, millions of people visit museums, attend music concerts, pour over Instagram and consume art, unquestioningly.
Fine art seems to be one of the hardest careers to justify, and abstract art has to be the toughest sell of them all.
Unfortunately, the unfathomable, esoteric quality of abstraction has always provoked and inspired Liberty Battson.
Abstraction creates a gap between the viewer and the artist; the artist retreats behind the formalities of colour, texture and line and the viewer is left to decipher what they see. The experience of the viewer when looking at an abstract artwork could be a moment of complete enrapture, it could also be a moment of extreme infuriation. This is the space in which Battson begins to play.
The arrogance of abstraction, that one can only "get it" if one is smart enough, or educated, is something that Liberty vociferously rallies against.
Her works are easily decipherable, in fact, she has created an entire index of meaning, a dictionary of colours with which a viewer can decipher her striped paintings.
She has also used the codified nature of abstraction to hide flippant and acerbic commentary in her work, written in Morse code which can be deciphered using Google.
Her work pokes fun at the high-brow intellectualization of art, using its own language against itself by conforming to the Modernist principles of abstraction, colour, and non-traditional materials.
Battson's earlier work relied on algorithms and data to dictate the overall composition of her artworks.
Slowly she has shifted towards aesthetics , rebelling against her own systems and rules established over the years of her practice, asserting her creative freedom over the dictates of the data, and has finally arrived at a body of work in which there is no data at all. There is colour.
In letting go of the formal qualities that typified her practice, Battson has created a body of work that is a pure expression of freedom.
There is no code, there is no index, there is no caveat.
There is colour and there is line and that is OK.