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Grooming 2009, oil on canvas, 198x137cm

Wild Things 2010

28 Jan 2010 - 27 Feb 2010
Gallerysmith, North Melbourne VIC

Artworks in Exhibition

Ted May’s exhibition, WILD THINGS, has a primal thesis. A silhouette of an angry red bull dominates one large canvas. A mating dance by a virile beast another, while a third work depicts a long-beaked bird astride its defenceless mate. These Darwinian works oscillate in vibrant red, black and yellow with overt masculinity and sexual prowess.

Upon closer inspection of the exhibition however, other images seep into the consciousness. Nestled among the large bold works are smaller canvases with maternal images of nurturing and grooming; a mother hen on her nest, a toucan guarding a cradle. The juxtaposition of the two creates a palpable tension.

These works are a significant departure from Ted May’s signature frenetic line drawings. The canvases have been pared back, over-painted and abstracted with blocks of colour that contain and define the imagery while his energetic drawing still exists, and is sometimes evident, through the layers of pure pigment.

There is so much energy in these canvases, and yet it is the restraint that gives them their strength - the product of Ted reaching an artistic maturity. 

Marita Smith, Gallery Director, Gallerysmith

Baby papagayo  61x51cm
Baby papagayo
51cm (W) x 61cm (H)
Chika 46x61cm
Chika
61cm (W) x 46cm (H)
3
El Poco Toro
183cm (W) x 153cm (H)
Oil on Canvas
Grooming 2009, oil on canvas, 198x137cm
Grooming
137cm (W) x 198cm (H)
Oil on Canvas
Hatchling 25x20cm
Hatchling
20cm (W) x 25cm (H)
Incubator 56x51cm
Incubator
51cm (W) x 56cm (H)
Madonna and child  76x107cm
Madonna and child
107cm (W) x 76cm (H)
Mating dance  160x198cm
Mating dance
198cm (W) x 160cm (H)
Nesting 76x107cm
Nesting
107cm (W) x 76cm (H)
Pamplona 183x152cm
Pamplona
152cm (W) x 183cm (H)
Totem  76x61cm
Totem
61cm (W) x 76cm (H)
3-2
Toucan
199cm (W) x 183cm (H)
Oil on Canvas

Australian Artist

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