Galerie Förster

Ray Malone

'b-a-c-h' drawings, dimensional & meridian paintings

November 3rd - December 15th, 2007

Some impressions of the opening you will find here.


The drawings and paintings of Ray Malone’s are beautiful objects whilst their apparent simplicity belies the complex concerns which inform their making. His work is based on a number of fundamental interests: the ‘language’ of abstract art itself and the possibility of either adding to or extending the scope of that language; the connections that may be said to exist between abstract art and other forms, in particular architecture, music and photography; and the relationship between writing and art.

In both the "Dimension" and "Meridian" series of paining, Malone explores our perception of tonal variation. It is 'slow' work, needing the time to allow the subtlety of the form to reveal itself. Both series use three tones of one colour. After the initial impact and intensity of the colour, continued looking rewards the reviewer with fugitive tonal shifts, the surface remaining active in contradiction to our desire to ‘fix’ it. There is a constant play between the viewer and the painting, and this extends to the painted object itself, the canvas seems to float from the wall. Malone’s concern for the edge and ‘what happens there, what attention it should be given’, are made manifest.

In contrast to the geometric architectural forms in the paintings, the gestural charcoal drawings reference the structure of music. Beginning as small-scale exercises in line drawing, the 'b-a-c-h' drawings have developed into the mark-making equivalent of improvisation. The four lines of charcoal are similar to a musician’s variations on a musical phrase or figure. Malone's inventiveness produces drawings which have amazing presence with their powerful three dimensional lines emerging like reliefs from the paper. Their "intricate precision opens every possible avenue of playfulness and interpretation to the viewer." (Christina Burke, Art Teracina, Exeter

The viewer cannot remain passive in front of Malone’s work. It must be 'met' whether it is the intense emotional response to the power of colour, the way it moves and signifies; the pleasure in the geometric arrangements and divisions which root us both in a real and an implied architectural space; or the joy in the bold rhythm of the lines. In these hurried times this meticulous but passionate work offers a respite, a contemplative hiatus in which to re-connect with our own internal and external worlds.

Interaction II

The musician Stephan-Max Wirth responds with improvisations to Ray Malone's work.