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Small Change


Adam Pyett

22 February - 21 March 2014


Adam Pyett has worked within the still life painting tradition over the past 10 years. Grounded in a fundamental observational process, the genre presents solutions for a painter keen to maintain his focus on paint and image-making. In Pyett’s case, the distractions of subject are entirely self-contained: form, colour, light, texture and surface provide a field of infinite investigation.

Pyett approaches the representation of his subject with an economy of means. Cautious and disciplined in this regard, he intensely pursues the right combinations of colour and painterly treatment to create an evocative, rather than prescriptive, painting. While the flower-glass-object remains the key visual reference throughout this body of work, Pyett’s more recent works display an increasing freedom from the literal to a more sensual and intuitive representation.

Small Change combines a group of small paintings made in 2012 with larger more recent works. Sprigs of Australian native flowers, such as Golden wattle, red Callistemon (bottlebrush) and various flowering gums, casually placed in water glasses are depicted in a deliberately narrow tonal range of olive greens and dark to light browns, with accents of bright yellows, creams, greens and blues. In the hands of a lesser artist, the restricted choice of subject matter and muted tones could give rise to repetitive images. However, Pyett’s deep observations and his painterly rigour produce a freshness and individuality to each image, and the paintings encourage and reward close contemplation.