The Nancy Sever Gallery was pleased to present JANENNE EATON r e e f, an exhibition of the work of one of Australia’s leading contemporary artists.
Janenne Eaton’s paintings offer the viewer a decidedly 21st century vision of the painting enterprise. In her exhibition R e e f, Janenne’s works recall her abiding interest in the metaphorical ‘window’ of Rennaisance art, while visually fusing notions of our physical world with the multiple windows and overlapping screens of our ‘virtual world’. Her works propose a new logic and experience of visuality; one where the viewer inhabits a new architecture of space and time. In works like Reef, and Pool of worries, the viewer is physically mirrored and suspended within a humming tension between materiality and dematerialized illusions.
Acknowledging life within a global mesh of forces, Janenne Eaton’s works focus a lens on the visual static that permeates contemporary culture. Time and space are unbounded and impervious to the awkward logic of the man-made frame. In her works the grid is reconfigured in the LED screen; freed from its Modernist shackles to permit an infiltration of narrative, discourse and history. Her works highlight how this new, ‘virtual’ language of sign systems mediates our day-to-day experience of the world.
'Janenne Eaton is well known for glossy abstract gridded paintings that, in their complex navigation of surfaces and depths, turn our attention to political and social terrain(s). In this new series of work, Reef, Eaton extends her usual engagement with the virtual ‘grid’ by making more explicit reference to early textile samplers, quilts or weavings, in which stitched squares are commonly joined to form one pattern or image. In these new works, intensely coloured bright dots, lines and scrawls jostle, pour and hover within reflective black squares. This powerful play between the energy of the hand and the holding structure of the ‘grid’ brings a stimulated attention to the surface that somehow forces us to look beyond it. Via the title work Reef, we become attuned to the precariousness of our ocean environment, threatened with destruction. Eaton provides us with an abstract, textural aerial view of brightly coloured coral, and pictures us in relation to it. She references the active work of the hand, via delicately crafted framed mirrors and mandala like decals adorning the surface of the paintings. The mirrors operate as holes or gaps, suggesting a deep space underneath. As we move closer to see what might be there, we find ourselves. Other works feature bullet-holes on a pink surface, Posca filled squares, an angry slur of text, and bleeding holes of rainbow paint. With each vibrant and technically masterful work, Eaton punctures and opens the painterly space in a new way. This interrogation of the surface is beautiful and political. In Eaton’s hands, painting and the world beyond it is a richly coloured, complex tapestry and we are offered the privilege of looking more closely'. 
Janenne Eaton lives and works in Melbourne. Her practice incorporates painting, photography, installation and video.
From 1999 to 2011 Janenne Eaton was Head of Painting at the Victorian College of the Arts, University of Melbourne. She holds a BA (Archaeology and Art History) from the Australian National University and was awarded a Master of Arts (Fine Art) at RMIT. She has held over 20 solo exhibitions and participated in numerous group exhibitions including at the National Gallery of Australia, National Gallery of Victoria, National Portrait Gallery, the Art Gallery of New South Wales, Canberra Museum and Gallery, Heide Museum of Modern Art, Parliament House Canberra. Her works have been collected by these, and many other institutions, including university collections and by corporate and private collectors in Australia and overseas.
 Kate Just, Reflections – on a studio visit, September 2015
The exhibition run until 25 October 2015.
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