18th November – 18th December 2010
Anna Schwartz Gallery
Anna Schwartz Gallery is consumed by Dazzle. A form of camouflage originally used on British battleships during the First World War, invisibility was not the intention. Rather, Dazzle was employed to confuse the perception of its viewers. Stieg Persson constructs an elaborate visual relationship between his work and its environment by utilizing the same technique, encouraging us to look again, and look hard.
Several large-scale paintings vie for attention against a highly patterned background. Emerging from striking geometry, the paintings convey a compelling fusion of flat, hard-edged colour and intricate decoration. Whip-like scrolls unfurl amidst archaic symbols of comets and rat kings. Writing is intimated by shell pink curlicues and inky, inscrutable scripts. The artist’s signature forms lie entangled. These aesthetic propositions articulate a subtle sense of unease also evident in the works’ premonitory titles. The artist examines the cultural implications of pirated video in ‘Is my video viral?’ and the demise of the Y chromosome in ‘Fragile Y’s’.
Crypsis provides an arena in which a complex body of themes is explored. For Persson, the paintings ‘express a need for the world to mean something’, a quest for meaning typical of the artist’s ongoing discourse with the very nature of painting.