Showcase: Lance Kerr

Erin Irwin takes a closer look at these outstanding works.

The work: Lance Kerr, Tokyo, 2022. Acrylic, 64 x 90cm. Courtesy: the artist.

Using abstract form to manifest energy and motion, New Zealand artist Lance Kerr looks to embody the balance of past and present that defines his subjects: cities. Conceptualised while visiting Japan in 2019, Tokyo sees the artist translate the contrasting – but not necessarily conflicting – feelings evoked by the metropolis. One minute he was marvelling at the peaceful interior of a Zen temple built c.1300, the next he was caught up in the hustle of inner-city life. This exceptional heterogeneity is made tangible through the artist’s use of street art paint markers and liquid acrylics to engage in mark-making inspired by traditional Zen minimalism. A swiftly executed black line slices across the surface of the work, its precise application juxtaposed against a splash of vibrant pink. Two very different types of aesthetic gesture are here working in harmony, materially interlinked by the deft hand of the artist. Much like the city, these two disparate elements interact with one another to form a cohesive whole, moving in tandem rather than simply in unison.

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