Adrienne Matthews, The Nelson Mail, 20 November 2014
The Icon White Gallery is a superb venue in which to experience the latest art works by Lisa Chandler. Airy and bright it enables the canvases to be shown at their very best with space to stand back and appreciate the complexity of thought, experience and technique that has gone into each one.
Chandler has completed two residencies in Singapore and Beijing and these works are a reflection of her experiences there, carefully observing the place of figures within the strong and defining architecture of urban landscapes.
Visiting this exhibition was very pleasurable for me, returning me to an urban world of good memories, of being able to observe as a “no-one” the complex life of the city dweller. There can be something breathtakingly sublime about being anonymous. It allows for multiple perspectives and Chandler has communicated this.
The title of this exhibition, Slice, refers to a ‘slice of life’, immediate observations of the ‘now’. Most of the figures are without faces. They are passive beings within and on structures. I particularly like Chandler’s use of the escalators image to give a sense of movement, of “going somewhere”. Very much a reflection of the technology generation, many of the figures are self-engrossed, lightly inhabiting their space, often communing via technology while being carried along regardless by the city infrastructure.
It is fitting that the figures are in various states of exposure, some are just ghostly images, some just the lightest suggestion. The colour palette is restrained which is a great strength, allowing the focus to be on the concept. The marks Chandler makes are sublime. The textures and the rubbing back to expose the layers beneath give depth and richness. These works changed over time as she was creating them and it is an inspiration that she has left the previous marks behind. The paintings become a diary of thoughts and events.
China Dream is one of the paintings that highlights the other theme of Chandler’s, the conflict between the old and the new, between history and futurism, between continuity and change.
These are powerful works of a very high standard that an international market needs to see.