Painting in stone - Johannes Kuhnen
May 8 to 5 June, 2015
Johannes Kuhnen has found more time recently since departing from his long held position as Head of the Gold and Silversmithing Workshop at the Australian National University, a roll he held for over 29 years. This new found time has allowed Kuhnen the space and capacity to explore a new body of work, an exciting departure from his iconic aluminium and titanium oeuvre.
This exhibition is a series of brooches, pendents and rings. Inspired by the Colour Fields paintings of the 1940’s and 50’s as well as the work of minimalist artist Robert Mangold, whose large and bright geometric constructions share a similar aesthetic to much of Kuhnen’s smaller in scale work. For this exhibition Kuhnen has used found sedimentary and volcanic rocks and stones as his principle material. Kuhnen creates flat planes with subtle combinations colour, using the natural appearance of the stones as his palette.
This body of work is about colours and surfaces exploring the endless possibilities of the natural hues and textures found in his chosen material. While sourced from the landscape, these works are not of the landscape, Kuhnen says “the use of stone in this work is a means of stepping away from aluminium and extending my work with another material”. While Kuhnen’s use of stone can be traced back to works from 1985 and throughout his career, this is the first time it has made such a predominate appearance in a body of work.