It wouldn’t be an art fair without abstract painting. Thick gestural lines, bright colour palettes and titles alluding to memory or “the body” are always a given. I step into @14, the satellite venue for Nicholas Thompson Gallery at Spring/Sprung1883, where the walls are neatly lined with paintings either aligned with an Antipodean colour palette (think Albert Tucker) or an upbeat block colour spread that easily compliments works across the room by the likes of artists James Drinkwater, Eleanor Louise Butt, Rhys Lee, Tonee Messiah, Antonia Sellbach, Amber Wallis, and Miranda Skoczek.
A series of small acrylic works on paper by Leo Coyte are piled on the front desk. Sifting through them, some stick out and provide a cheeky perspective from the soles of feet looking up at a fictional figure. Am I looking at a shower drain, a butt plug, shapely buttocks, symmetrical testicles, perky breasts or all these things at once? It’s a fun hands-on exercise.
At a quick glance, an oil painting by Heidi Yardley sits quietly in the back area. It’s of a woman with grey swept back hair butting heads with a lover. An ominous piece. I assume it’s physically out of reach because its already sold.
Mutterings of another lockdown start to fill the air and so I quickly take pictures on my phone of the @14 installation and power walk to Collingwood Arts Precinct.