Tuesday, 29 April 2008

Ian Friend

Ian Friend has just posted me details of his upcoming retrospective exhibition in Brisbane. The Murdoch Press (Courier Mail) have risen to the occasion, giving the show a good write-up. A book is to appear shortly. Ian works mostly on paper, a very thick, almost indestructable variety that can withstand the blast from a garden hose. This is essential since he reworks his surfaces constantly. I find that his work renders meaningless any distinction between 'abstract' and 'figurative'. There is great play of surface and depth in it. A few years back Ian made a series that took off from JH Prynne's book of poems, The Oval Window, for which I wrote a catalogue essay (this catalogue and the cover of an edition of the Prynne book featuring Ian Friend's work are reproduced above). I only wish I could be in Brisbane to view what will be a marvellous show.

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