BMGArt presents the dynamic works of two prominent South Australian artists, Frank Bauer, a metalsmith and lighting designer, and painter Aldo Iacobelli. The contemporary works on display from both artists seem well suited to the modern minimalism and open-space of the gallery.
The stars of the exhibition are Bauer’s three-dimensional “light-pictures”, or Lichtbilders. Their style is delicately industrial with multiple layers of anodized perforated aluminium sheets connected to each other by fine stainless steel rods. Small lights are then added to create colour and atmosphere within these sculptural wall pieces. With their fiercely geometric design, the effect is reminiscent of cityscapes; densely packed rows of apartment blocks or skyscrapers, sometimes seen from above, or within the buildings looking out. Through his use of colour and lighting, Bauer captures different moods of the city throughout the day, from vibrant oranges and reds suggestive of a sun streaked morning, to the black and blue hues of midnight emptiness. These three-dimensional cityscape Lichtbilders are a clever and exceptionally artistic interpretation of wall lights that would dramatically enhance any modern home.
Moving away from wall hangings, Bauer presents delicate table lamps and sculptural standing lights (or columns as they are named). These are again made of thin stainless steel rods that create tall, skeletal stands that artistically house a variety of adjustable lamps and shapes. They appear like artistic aerials or 3D astrological maps, and are another extremely creative take on everyday household lighting.
The final aspect of Bauer’s artistic creativity moves into a completely different medium. Here we find works taking the form of simple kitchen objects; decanters, wine goblets, bowls and cups all made of hand raised silver. Although they are all beautiful, what stands out the most is the incredibly bold geometric design of his silver and ebony teapot.
In all his work, Bauer combines an artistic imagination with the skills of a master craftsman to successfully reinvent everyday household objects.
Iacobelli’s paintings appear quite simple and broad in comparison with Bauer’s delicate and detailed light works. His paintings present thick, textured surfaces that create twisted movements across the canvas. He relies on a minimalist palette of refined natural grey-browns and red-browns, as well as black and white. These few colours are combined into simplistic combinations of shapes reminiscent of aerial maps of coastlines. The gallery lighting deliberately falls upon the ridges of the whirling textural paint creating a sheen like the freshly groomed coats of cows.
Altogether, BMGArt has provided an interesting exhibition that displays unusual contemporary works that would be rare to find elsewhere.
Reviewed by Georgina Smerd
Venue: BMGArt, 444 South Road, Marleston, Adelaide
Season: 21 August – 12 September