Good Weekend Art Column

Luke Storrier – Olsen Gallery, Sydney

Published July 27, 2019
Luke Storrier, 'Burnt Totem'

Artist: Luke Storrier

Lives: Darlinghurst, Sydney

Age: 36

Represented by:Olsen Gallery, Sydney (No Melbourne representation)

His thing.Sculptures, paintings and mixed-media works, hovering between abstraction and figuration.

Our take.Some might think that to be the son of one of Australia’s most prominent painters would be an advantage for an up-and-coming artist. Luke Storrier might see things differently. The first problems are a burden of expectation and the need to distinguish oneself from the old man.

In Fine Line, his debut solo exhibition with Olsen Gallery, Luke has staked out very different territory to that inhabited by his father, Tim. He is, for starters, a lot messier and more spontaneous in the way he uses oil paint and found materials. Some of his canvases are broadly expressionistic, most contain items that disrupt the smoothness of the picture plane. His freestanding sculptures experiment with different approaches, mixing junk assemblage with Brancusian elegance. There’s even a bit of a Christo-like wrapping.

The inspiration for this body of work was a depressing fortnight spent in drought-ridden Wilcannia, making site-specific installations. Upon returning to the city Storrier felt he had to transform his experience of this barren land into something more positive. He gave himself the freedom to work in a more playful manner, and found he was enjoying his time in the studio like never before.

The results of his labours are quirky and eclectic, showing signs of many different influences.  The ‘fine line’ of the title could be the border between formality and randomness, with most pieces having an each-way bet.

Can I afford it?

This may be Storrier’s debut solo show but he has been making and selling work since he graduated from the National Art School in 2013, having won that year’s student sculpture award. His record price so far is $25,000 for a commisioned work made from copper. The most expensive piece on this show is the sculpture, Burnt Totem(184cm by 30cm by 10cm) at $11,000. The cheapest is the abstract oil painting, Night Splat(18cm by 13cm) at $990.

Where can I have a squiz?

Olsen Gallery, 63 Jersey Road, Woollahra, Sydney

24 July -17 August, 2019.


Published in The Good Weekend, Sydney Morning Herald, 27 July, 2019