Sunday 18 February 2018

What lies beneath: Yellow Leaning on Flimsy Greens

Yellow Leaning on Flimsy Greens by Liliane Tomask, oil on linen courtesy Kerlin Gallery

Yellow Leaning on Flimsy Greens by Liliane Tomask. Photo: Brian Buckley.
Yellow Leaning on Flimsy Greens by Liliane Tomask. Photo: Brian Buckley.

Niall MacMonagle

The everyday stuff of life - beds, sheets, a pile of blankets, clothes, curtains - are so familiar that we hardly notice them. The household stuff that we live among are part of us.

We see them; we notice them; we don't notice them. But an artist's eye, mind, imagination can dwell on something often overlooked and this concentrated focus not only makes the ordinary more interesting but it roots and renews our experience of the world around us.

It's as if we're seeing something for the very first time in our very own room, our very our house.

Liliane Tomasko, born Zurich, educated London, lives in Germany, Barcelona and is based in New York.

Though her work focuses on the domestic, the private, the intimate, that does not diminish it. Tomasko's response to her subject matter is intuitive. In her new show, paintings such as Lightly Lifting the Hidden Fold, Sensible Reds or Tangled up with Blue present the viewer with seemingly abstract works. However, they have their origins in household objects and situations and Tomasko's work as sculptor and photographer, her interest in drawing are evident in her paintings in terms of their structure, shape and the use of close-up.

Her artist husband, Sean Scully, says "abstract painting is music without words" and this image, with its gloriously lyrical title, Yellow Leaning on Flimsy Greens, and confidently strong and somehow delicate and sensuous movement, certainly makes for harmony.

"How lovely yellow is! It stands for the sun" says Van Gogh and yellow is central here. Is Tomasko's yellow a fabric? A fold? Could it be a playful depiction of a seated sun taking a rest? This painting allows for multiple interpretations.

It tells its own story and when standing before this beautifully made, bright, light, flowing piece Saul Bellow's Herzog came to mind: that moment towards the end of the novel when crazed and troubled Moses Herzog, in a moment of calm, transcendent insight, realises that in the midst of all life's frazzle "Something produces intensity, a holy feeling, as oranges produce orange, as grass green, as birds heat". It makes sense.

Sense at the Kerlin Gallery runs until Jan 16.

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