Presented by: BMG Art
Reviewed 26 June 2019
Contrasting the unique features of sculpture and painting, BMG Art is currently exhibiting the latest works of two prominent South Australian artists with Grounded by sculptor, Nicholas Uhlmann, and The Expedition by painter, Jason Cordero.
When walking into the spacious gallery of BMG Art it is clear that Jason Cordero’s mythological landscapes from The Expedition are the main feature of the exhibition. The talented painter has created calmingly realistic landscapes, inspired by the stunning Tasmanian wilderness, that sometimes teeter on the line between reality and fantasy. With twisting, textured trees, sometimes in bold reds or blues amongst bursts of blood red clouds and perfectly balanced natural features, these landscapes look like they could be stills from a sci-fi film based on a slightly-altered version of earth. Cordero’s most impressive features include his colourful dawn and dusk skies filled with often a tension of clouds hovering above perfectly mirrored, opaque reflections.
To provide interesting variety among his imaginative landscapes, Cordero presents his nature-based themes from a range of perspectives. While most paintings present a classic, forward-facing view, some embrace the viewer in a dizzying fish-eye perspective or even more intense warped, Escher-like perspective impossibilities. He also presents a birds-eye view from above, but these are less impressive as they lose the twisting sculptural limbs and scarified textures of the trees that make up Cordero’s signature style. The artist also inserts nude human figures into some of his landscapes, giving perspective to natural features, such as the mountainous rock forms in The Intermediary, which emphasises their impressive size. These figures, though, almost float within the natural surroundings, purposefully ungrounded within the landscape and demonstrating our possible detachment.
Cordero’s works dramatically range in size, from smaller A5 canvases abundant with colour and detail, to larger metre by metre landscapes that dominate their wall space. It is, however, the former that is most impressive, presenting miniature scenes of enchanting, un-touched landscapes that require a step closer to fall into their calming world and take in their comprehensive detail.
While Cordero’s brightly coloured paintings delightfully dominate the space at BMG Art, Nicholas Uhlmann’s minimalistic perched birds and unusual, boat-like forms provide a contrastingly sculptural element to the exhibition. In Grounded, as with Cordero, Uhlmann’s metal sculptures range in size, but all share the similarity of industrial materials including Corten and stainless steel, brass and copper, complemented by his touches of lighter materials such as timber and resin.
Most of Uhlmann’s pieces within the space are modern mixes of materials that make up sleek and streamlined, static bird forms. These metallic creatures stand tall and proud, their long, sweeping wings elegantly curving down in front of them, skilfully textured in repetitive patterns of metal sheets. Their simplified heads uniquely differ with some presenting a hawk-like beak and others a long, open mouth as if the bird were announcing its presence.
Uhlmann’s largest and most distinctly unusual piece stands a towering three metres tall, drawing curious onlookers to the back of the gallery with its spaceship-like structure. It is, however, his two smaller sculptures blending a boat-like form with curious beak features next to a metallic nest that, while maintaining his focus on birds, provide more interestingly detailed focuses.
It is worth stopping by to take in the interestingly unusual landscapes of Cordero and the sleek metallic forms of Uhlmann within the un-cluttered gallery space that BMG Art consistently provides.
Reviewed by Georgina Smerd
Venue: BMG Art, 444 South Road, Marleston, 5033
Season: 21 June – 13 July