John Bunker: “Faint Young Suns” at Unit 3, London E3 3LT.
“Scheherazade” is the largest work on show at John Bunker’s new exhibition, and is one of his best works. But then, most of the work in this show are not only amongst his best work to date, but are perhaps amongst the best around by anyone at the moment. He has taken another step forward from the work he has patiently developed over the past few years (the last two years, in particular), to the point where he can claim to be in a place of his own choosing – a full and powerful articulation of original abstract art. It’s not painting and it’s not sculpture, but I would hesitate to call it collage either. At the moment, we don’t need to call it anything.
John calls them “mixed media shaped collages”, or “shaped paintings, acrylic & mixed media”.
What’s going on in this work? Freedom from rectangles (and “angles”), freedom from frames and frameworks, freedom from overall images, preconditions – but John has been here a while, working in a place without these being too often needed. Now he seems to have shed yet more of his own presumptions about how his materials go together. They now go together in a way that is a little bit further on from being separate “objects” collaged together. There is more paint (thick and thin, and a lot of stronger, denser colour) in this new work, used in more varied ways, with an intensity of both contrast and collusion of all the bits and pieces that are contrived somehow to work together in such diversity. The paint is used both as paint and as hard, solidified, moveable material: wet, dry, mixed, lumpy-solids, stuff from the bottom of the bucket… John’s usual mad and amazing collections of studio and street-side detritus that he has always used as potential content have intensified so far as to virtually disintegrate themselves as individual knick-knacks, only to redeliver something different; something certainly not figurative, and possibly not needing to be called abstract either…
I do prefer the smaller, more intense works (and the first big one, “Scheherazade”) to the ones with large backgrounds. Well, you may not agree with me in all this, but go and see this show anyway. It’s very good!
Show ends on 17th November 2019! Details and dates on 07837 571184.
P.S. Make sure, too, that you see the brilliant “Reconstructing Cezanne” exhibition at Luxembourg and Dayan: https://www.luxembourgdayan.com/exhibitions/67/works/. It ends on 7th December.