Res Artis invites you to the opening of Tony Cran´s exhibition ´Grey Glow´ in our Melbourne office.
Opening 6pm, Thursday 6 December
Picture: Study for Blue Flower, oil and synthetic polymer on board, 34.5 cm x 44.5 cm, 2018
Res Artis and Joseph Dawson from Title/Untitled, together with our generous benefactors Michael Schwarz and David Clouston, invite you to the opening of Tony Cran’s exhibition GREY GLOW.
Tony Cran is the offspring of an outlaw and a romantic. He is a retired drifter with visionary delusions, who believes art is a bridge to the sacred and a road to social change. His latest exhibition GREY GLOW features silver and grey large and small-scale paintings of other worldly flowers, alongside works on paper.
According to Victoria Perin, author of accompanying exhibition text ‘Real magnolias, fake roses’; “Cran is a capital-R Romantic, and unlike any works he’s done in the past, these near-monochrome paintings are stripped bare so that you can see it.
Cran completed his MA Contemporary Art at the Victorian College of the Arts in 2017. The artist has held several solo exhibitions in Melbourne. In 2014, Cran conducted a residency at Res Artis Member NARS Foundation in Brooklyn, New York. The residency continues to inform his practice.
– Read an exclusive text by Victoria Perin describing the exhibition below –
Real magnolias, fake roses
To prepare me for Tony Cran’s exhibition, Grey Glow, the artist gave me a USB containing images of works in progress, but also (among many other things) 37 images of fog. The fog images were very relatable, as if they were pictures I too might have taken. These are the type of images you take when you come across a deserted street, or cricket pitch, or boggy pond, and the fog astounds you with its total dominance of atmosphere. Invariably these photographs, inspired by awe, are hopelessly inadequate and capture nothing like what we feel when we inhabit these places.
Cran wants that feeling. His ‘heart-image’, the one he always returns to, is Caspar David Friedrich’s Der Wanderer über dem Nebelmeer (1818). He’s living for that special space of sublimity. The subject of this exhibition then, is not the ubiquitous flowers (although we’ll get to them), but the nebelmeer, the fog-sea blanket.
In his USB Cran also included two-dozen images of fake flowers bunched in a mess, like a display you would come across outside some $2 store. You get a lot of rare-colour roses (blues, purples, blacks) in these kinds of bouquet, as well as bulky off-season wisteria, and big cream lilies weighed down with coloured-glue decoration. Cran’s attraction to these displays makes sense. His desire to be over-whelmed by nature can become unmoored from nature itself; it doesn’t necessitate an actual grounding in reality. His photos are blurry. If he can squint hard enough the faux might disappear. Miraculously, in one gorgeous image, it works; all the seams on the tragic fakes blur and I’m transported into luxury by the sheer will of Cran’s observation.
The kicking-off point of this exhibition however, the porcelain-skinned magnolias, are all too real. Irresistible as they are, Cran is naturally riveted by these beauties that look like they should smell like heaven. Unlike his monochrome roses, Cran cannot deny the magnolias their lusty blush. Although they too are pale and swimming in fog, they boom towards us. The magnolia is Cran’s envoy from the nebelmeer and it is enticing us to step forward, into the image. An invitation to swoon.
By Victoria Perin
Exhibition viewing times: Thursday 6 – Sunday 9 December, 12 noon to 5pm
Exhibition continues until 13 December (viewed by appointment)
Level 1, 44 Glasshouse Rd, Collingwood (entry via Gertrude Glasshouse)