There is a yearning for enigma, for unanswered or unanswerable questions in the art practice of Rod Gray.
The apparent direct simplicity of the subject seems to vibrate or tremor and threatens to vanish in the heat haze of fire or optic distortions akin to a mirage or a dream. There’s a painterly love of paint for it’s own sake and of implied narrative but both dissolve into a field of immanence drawn from the artist’s obsessions with the fabric of the natural world and a poetics of fire. The quality of the light seems momentary and somehow also timeless.
The paintings themselves seem to exist less as a window of observation but rather, more like a painted screen or tapestry where every portion of the artwork is active and any central subject is sublimated into the whole. The paintings have the presence of an object or an artefact comprised of surfaces built of impasto applied in at times almost sedimentary layers. The densely smouldering palette of warm hues are imbued with a poetic and expressionistic intensity.
Recent exhibitions include
2022 Burning, Tacit Galleries, Melbourne; 2020 Neweyes (installation), Melbourne 2017 Ash, Space 39, Melbourne 2015 Nightly Burns the Moon, Space 39 2014 Waterline, The Art Vault, Mildura: We Burn Boats, Space 39 2013 Hull, The Art Vault 2012 Tower, Trinity College, Melbourne; Tower, State Library of Victoria: Tower, Red Gallery, Melbourne 2011 Tidemarker, Red Gallery 2009 Tracking Station, Space 39
2021 Ember & Vessel; Neon Parlour, Melbourne 2020 Linden Postcard Show, Melbourne; Mix'n'Match; Neon Parlour; Incendiary, Pound Arts Centre, Corsham, UK 2019 Linden Postcard Show; Image & Text, The Art Vault, Mildura 2018 Incendiary, Lonsdale Gallery, Stroud, UK; Equalitaria, Neon Parlour 2017 Small Works, Tussock Gallery, Point Lonsdale 2014 Fifth Anniversary, The Art Vault 2013 The People's Palace, State Library of Victoria 2012 Span, The Stockroom, Kyneton; Island, Red Gallery, Melbourne; Our Mechanical Eye, State Library of Victoria 2011 Wunderkammer, Trinity College, Melbourne; Capriccio, Red Gallery 2010 BSG Small Works, Brunswick St Galleries, Melbourne; Impressions, Australian Print Workshop, Melbourne; Re_Collection, Red Gallery; Launch, Carbon Black Gallery, Melbourne