Moving Imagery : review : Art & Australia

Kaye Mahoney: Moving Imagery

Olimpia Mailat

Art & AustraliaON ENTERING KAYE MAHONEY’S EXHIBITION at Goulburn Regional Art Gallery, one was struck by the combination of intellectual discipline and finely tuned aesthetics. An array of works including paintings on Perspex, videos and a large-scale interactive mixed-media installation created an engaging dialogue between artist, art and viewer about spatio-temporal concepts.

Kaye Mahoney, 2.5 Dimensional Composition

Kaye Mahoney, 2.5 Dimensional Composition

Mahoney’s recent move back to Sydney after living and working for twenty years in New York was reflected in canvases that harmonised Australian echoes of Emily Kngwarreye and Fred Williams with American minimalist inflections. Yet the predominant style expressed the `Fluxattitude’ of Fluxus — an intermedia approach that protests against distinguishing art from life. Though herself not a Fluxus artist, Mahoney’s most conventional oil-on-canvas works presented intimate dialogues with the liberating works of her artistic circle, Fluxus artists such as Jean Dupuy and Christian Xatrec.

Calling to mind Kasimir Malevich’s famous entreaty, `But a surface lives; it has been born’, Mahoney’s show intriguingly connected such a powerful century-old antecedent to a possible future. Dimensions of time, space and existence have long been elemental totems for Mahoney, and here they appeared in almost every medium: on canvas, in the silent, elegiac `Interior’ video progressions of 2009, and in her vibrant ’2.5 Dimensional Composition’ series of 2011, painted on Perspex back and front, which extended the space in which the surface lives, as Malevich did.

It is impossible to write of Mahoney’s work without acknowledging its deep relationship to music. From the reverberation of the 2oo8 ‘Pleinair’ series to the patterns of silence in the 2007-09 `Trio’ triptychs, `Moving Imagery’ communicated Mahoney’s thrilling explorations into how human perception functions at inter-dimensional interstices and between the micro and macroscopic.


Art & Australia: Review: Kaye Mahoney, Moving ImageryKaye Mahoney: Moving Imagery, Goulburn Regional Art Gallery, 6-29 October 2011.