Craig Donald’s Untitled

Craig Donald’s Untitled

Slavka Sverakova review.

A small number of exhibits manifest a noticeable homology between experimenting in art and the political elite facing crisis and aporia. Alone, unsupported, and watched with apprehension by monochrome paintings and drawings huddled on the other two walls, Craig Donald’s Untitled, June 2010 reminds me of Feuchtwanger’s Aesop standing at the edge of the ravine for free people.
The vertical canvas is mostly red – the ground foaming and exploding in hot hues, at times bubbling through the serene rectangles that flow in an insecure space, signalling the fear of the unknown. Harnessing the authority of several historical avant-gardes, each rectangle sets up a different style, different theme, different space and different time to forge the matrix of the painting as a medium of gravitas. Superficially, the rectangles with the seascape, cityscape, still life, tromp l’oeil, and portrait, offer some semblance to the traditional images of artists’ studios, and salons, displaying paintings all over a wall.

Untitled - oil and emulsion paint on canvas detail-june 2010
Untitled – oil and emulsion paint on canvas detail-june 2010

Donald speaks of the “installation approach” exploring the dialectics of differences for connections with similarities. Perspicacious use of light and time sends the instrumental values deep into epistemology: is that nail holding the white sheet real? How fast will the maroon slab, second from the lower edge, collapse into the inferno behind? How do I know what I know? Donald abandons the rational spatial continuum in some parts, while applying it in others, mirroring the difficulties with “instability of knowledge” and the need for reflective thought.


Untitled - oil and emulsion paint on canvas-june 2010
Untitled – oil and emulsion paint on canvas-june 2010

From Circa Art Magazine 2010