Yavuz Gallery is pleased to present Pareidolia Amongst the Trees, the first solo exhibition by Australian artist Harry Rothel with the gallery.
Pareidolia Amongst the Trees delves into Rothel’s creative subconscious, exploring the dexterity of the figurative within landscapes to negotiate the familiar and surreal; prompting rich and overlapping narratives that exist in dialogue with viewers.
In his latest body work, Rothel continues to expand on the exploration of archetypal figures and characters within his practice, harnessing the power of our shared consciousness in order to playfully and meaningfully navigate between concepts of the individual and the collective. His practice assembles a configuration of stylised icons from Western history’s cannon, with homage to early 20thcentury classic animations entwined with a Neo-Renaissance of forms and figures.
The titular pareidolia (a perceptual tendency of creating meaningful associations from ambiguous visual patterns usually found in nature) echoes Rothel’s process in his creation of complex compositions and resulting imagery. Exploring how we approach and interpret the gamut of imagery, Rothel engages himself and the viewers in a game, remarking on how the liberation of symmetrical associations builds upon a developing narrative within his works.
With a partially treated canvas, Rothel finds recognition within the shapes he has coaxed from the surface, allowing them to emerge, a coagulation of recognisable forms that carry their own symbolic weight. Familiar Disney animations appear throughout the series, such as Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937), and the iconic Donald Duck, which amplifies the motif of the paintings through these exaggerated characters prising emotional and physical states. This interplay between the objective and subjective gaze is explored as a means for Rothel to conceptualise our complex relationship with the world around us; our associations with objects, with each other and to broader social structures that we feel bound to and simultaneously alienated. In this way, Rothel displays a performative quality in his works, emphasising caricatures of human folly, insecurity, optimism, pessimism, and ambivalence.
ABOUT THE ARTIST
Harry Rothel (b. 1995, Australia) is a multi-disciplinary artist who works across painting and sculpture. His work portrays an imaginative narrative and is mapping ideas of the human psyche. However, it can often be confrontational in exploring social conventions, politics, and the world he lives in. Macabre and extravagant themes run throughout his work accompanied by soft and stripped-down colours that create disquieting images. His use of overlapping themes of joy and horror, with the application of subtle and acerbic layers of stripped back paint construct somewhat eerie pictures that he hopes challenge the conventions of today. His recent exhibitions include: Paralysing disproportions, Oigall Projects, Melbourne, Australia (2022), Terra Incognita, No Vacancy Gallery, Melbourne, Australia (2021), Toybox Nightmare, Jungles Gallery, Melbourne, Australia, (2019).