The Rolling Moon – Francis van Hout
In his new exhibition at City Art Depot, Francis van Hout moves away from the geometric abstraction of much of his recent work to explore shapes that float and wobble, repel and attract, contract and expand, cohering into unstable chains of echoes, patterns and connections. Figurative forms balance precariously, recklessly, like jugglers or acrobats for whom motionlessness is an impossibility. In their uncluttered legibility, these nervous, shifting forms are remindful of Māori rock drawing motifs, Henry Moore’s perforated figures, 1950s’ interior design and 1960s’ Op Art, here rendered in a muted, muddied, more complex palette. The title of the exhibition is taken from The Chills’1992 Single, Rolling Moon’. There is tension within the uneasy proximity between these constrained forms – an uneasiness so pertinent to today’s bubble- wrapped, bubble-burst preoccupations, but there is also a playfulness in the bulging shapes, the colourful spheres, even the frames, painted within the parameter of the canvas as paintings held within paintings on the gallery wall.