Got over to Sonia Dutton’s gallery on the LES where New Zealand artist Jake Walker is having a show, Geyserland. The title, along with several of the works, pay homage to the geysers, terraces, and waterfalls of the Orakei Karako Valley, which was flooded by the New Zealand government in 1961 to make way for a relatively small hydroelectric dam. Working in acrylic, Walker creates paintings of pure abstraction, with strong brush strokes and many layers, built up in stages, giving them a very earthy feel; very often, they’ll contain a burst of bright color.
For several of the pieces, Walker created his own ceramic frame, after which he improvised the picture, deriving inspiration and the color palette from the frame, so when you closely at his “white” paintings you’ll notice red or blue undertones which pick up those in the frame. The frames also have a very industrial and architectural feel, their protrusions evoking pipes, or spindles, or even Roman irrigation systems. There’s an all black painting that I really liked – the brushstrokes are very forceful. The show is very compact, consisting of about a dozen works. It will be up until November 20th (Wednesdays through Sundays, 1:00 – 6:00) . Catch it at Dutton Gallery, 124 Forsyth Street, right off Delancey.