Theory (Plain), 2010.Oil on canvas, 78" x 60"Courtesy the artist


November 26 – January 22, 2011 – The Western Front

Walking, Square, Cylinder, Plane features a new body of paintings that have come out of Eli Bornowsky’s dedicated studio practice in the past six months. Compared to his previous works, a turn can be seen in the artist’s output. The newer works have expanded in size and visual vocabulary. Previously, Bornowsky’s canvases assumed a relatively polite size and played on the repetition of similar geometric motifs, most notably the circle, with slight and energetic variations in size, texture and colouring. What connects his older and newer work is an obvious concern with the optical movement that each image is able to create in the eyes of its viewer.

These paintings by Bornowsky have grown not only in noticeable size, but also in terms of their demanding presence. The larger paintings ask for a lot of attention, as a play between several visual vocabularies takes place. Drawing from his early education as an illustrator, a field of black and white scribbled abstraction is a constant visual ground in each work in the exhibition. Noticeably in each painting, a confidently coloured stripe, approximately one quarter of the width of the canvas, vertically stretches across either the left or right hand side or horizontally along the bottom field. A third and more varied motif of a figure rests between or on top of these compositions. A cartoon like purple foot, an irregular and textured shape or a small box containing its own miniature landscape, are just some of the figures that seem to offer concrete positioning for the eye. Each large canvas is crowned with an accompanying smaller canvas, which is positioned in no repeatable method, except to say that they rest above. These smaller canvases recall Bornowsky’s older works, both in size and content, but they further obfuscate the visual conversation that happens throughout each painting. The companion canvases introduce a sensation of both belonging and foreignness. They are a curious and constant reminder for you to go back, look again and once more negotiate the multiple grounds and fields that each work contains.

Gallery Hours