Trish Clark Gallery is delighted to present Abstract Topologies, Amanda Gruenwald’s first solo exhibition since 2019. In this body of new paintings, Abstract Topologies continues Gruenwald’s ongoing engagement with colour and form, influenced by our image-saturated digital landscape and physical topologies, and dialogue with painterly traditions that affirm the canvas as an object-to-be-painted.
Ranging in scale from modestly sized works to the artist’s full reach, Gruenwald’s paintings are produced through an active/meditative process enabled by the physicality of her practice and the paintings’ evolving interior dynamic. Combining the gestural nature of her mark-making and her physical engagement with her canvas’ meditative fields of colour, Gruenwald’s paintings are produced through a balance of improvisation and deliberation, energised by the great freedom of chance and experimentation in the early stages of each work. There is an oscillation between thickness and thinness, energy and calm, that ebbs and flows over Gruenwald’s surfaces, reflecting the dialogue between Gruenwald and the logic of each work that emerges as she paints.
Working at scale and engaging colour and form, Gruenwald is cognisant of the great American colour field painters, though subtly subverts their dictates and rules. While acknowledging the objecthood of each painting, Gruenwald disrupts the flatness of the picture plane, working in subsequent layers of over-painting and erasure, and paints on stretched canvases, rather than cropping a completed ‘image’ from a larger canvas. As such, Gruenwald is more aligned with the Radical Painters of the 1980s, working to the notion that the intrinsic structural relationship between paint and support dictates the confines of the painting and therefore the painting’s internal compositions – with paint pooling and spreading according to the unique tensions of each stretched canvas.
Gruenwald graduated from the University of Auckland’s Elam School of Fine Arts in 2012, where she was awarded the Gordon Harris Painting Prize and the Kate Edgar Charitable Trust Grant in her final year of study. Quickly distinguishing herself as a thoughtful and formidable emerging artist, Gruenwald was given her first public gallery exposure in 2017 at the Govett-Brewster / Len Lye Centre in Surface Affect, with Jeena Shin and Michael Zavros. In 2021, Gruenwald was commissioned to produce an entire suite of nine new paintings for the Cordis Auckland Art Collection, enabling her to transition to a full-time painting practice.