McLeavey Gallery

Previous Exhibitions ›

Thoughts & Prayers

John Reynolds
8 Oct – 23 Oct 2021
Install view
Thoughts & Prayers
John Reynolds
Thoughts & Prayers
John Reynolds
Thoughts & Prayers
John Reynolds
Thoughts & Prayers
John Reynolds

About the exhibition

Thoughts and prayers... "That phrase has become meaningless. It's a thoughtless phrase. Basically an insult.” – Jack White, on The Raconteurs' song 'Thoughts and Prayers’, 2019

Read more

Thoughts and prayers – a well-meaning platitude turned glib and vapid through ubiquitous over-use by politicians and interpreted lack of action in the wake of tragic events.

During the disastrous 2019-20 Australian bushfire season, PM Scott Morrison was criticised for extending his 'thoughts and prayers' to the victims in a perceived attempt to deflect attention away from the climate crisis and government inaction.

‘Thoughts and prayers’ – a common sentiment issued by American leaders after shootings – were also ironically directed towards pro-gun lobby group National Rifle Association by social media users after it was revealed in 2018 they were facing financial difficulty.

Emerging from a zeitgeist defined by uncertainty, John Reynolds reckons with the cliche, presenting a series of frenzied, unstable paintings.

Offering no solutions, Reynolds describes the works as “formal collapses” –  the painterly ground frayed like a piece of fabric stretched taunt. The gesso visible through imperfect layers of acidic (toxic?) colours that cascade and drip.

Kinetic drawings crawl across the surface of the painting like a stream of consciousness. Organic loops and spirals vie with spiky, hard-edged triangles. A rose? A constellation of stars? A spider web? A virus?

Featuring Greta Thunberg’s call to arms in the face of the climate crisis – “I want you to panic” –the paintings are both socio-cultural commentary and self-reflexive criticism of the limitations of “art as activism”.

Deliberately fragmented, unfinished, elusive, contradictory, impatient, yet humming, mesmerising and hopeful … the works speak of Polish artist Józef Czapski’s declaration that painting is both a “prayer” and a “defeat”.

Read less
Twenty Twenty One
John Reynolds, 2021
metallic paint marker and acrylic on canvas, 2130 x 1530 mm
Thoughts & Prayers #2
John Reynolds, 2021
metallic paint marker and acrylic on canvas, 1400 x 1000 mm
Thoughts & Prayers #3
John Reynolds, 2021
metallic paint marker and acrylic on canvas, 1400 x 1000 mm
Thoughts & Prayers #4
John Reynolds, 2021
Thoughts & Prayers #5
John Reynolds, 2021
metallic paint marker and acrylic on canvas, 1400 x 1000 mm
Thoughts & Prayers #1
John Reynolds, 2021
metallic paint marker and acrylic on canvas, 1400 x 1000 mm

Artist

John Reynolds

More Exhibitions

Swing back, linger
5 artists
The Unbearable Lightness of Being
Mark Braunias, Veronika Djoulai, John Reynolds & Brenda Ronowicz
The Emptiness of All Endeavours
John Reynolds

Subscribe to our email newsletter

Be informed of new exhibitions, openings and artists at McLeavey Gallery.

Contact

Facebook
Instagram

Tel:
04 384 7356

Email:
Grace Ridley-Smith

147 Cuba Street,
Wellington,
New Zealand
Show on Google Maps

PO Box 11052,
Manners Street,
Wellington 6142

Wednesday–Friday 11–5,
Saturday 11–4,
Or by appointment

Artists

Exhibitions

  • Copyright © 2021 McLeavey Gallery