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Paintings Empty Of Human Presence Full Of The Fear



Daniel Unverricht Concrete Fear City Milford Galleries, Dunedin 4 Febuary - 27 Febuary 2005

Opening Friday 4th Feb

Continuing the theme he began in 1998, Daniel Unverricht extends his nocturnal urban paintings to explore even darker corners of an after-hours world.

Inspired by his own neighbourhood and visits to NZ's main centres, Daniel Unverricht's nocturnal paintings continue his gritty interpretation of abandoned urban landscapes, isolated buildings, back street - areas of urbanscape we are familiar with yet tend to avoid or ignore.

Unverricht's empty carparks devoid of human subjects yet linked with the implication of human presence comment on the isolated loneliness of modern life and invite the viewer in to add their own remembrances.

Unverricht's dramatic use of artificial light tells us something about the space he creates. From neon signs spill deep shadows of saturated primary colours, contrasting to knife-edge crispness, the clean hard lines of modern buildings. Black contrasts with vivid red, recalling unsettingly police cars and ambulances.

Says Unverricht, "The relationship between light and dark is interesting; the idea that shadows can physically consume space and objects, that artificial light (from street lights) can give a false sense of security. Lit up cities radiate psuedo safety. I want my work to capture that, with areas of inespacability and multiple choice exits. You can't escape the ambiguity of shadow."

A pervasive darkness in Unverricht's work creates an alienated visual mood, both expansive yet oppressive. A noirish claustrophobic feeling draws the viewer away from the tightly painted buildings, and half-illuminated side streets, into engulfing shadows and black voids.

Fear and isolation permeate Unverricht's unsettling scenes. His brightly lit buildings and doorways are deceptive, there is the sense that even here there are or have been acts of darkness. But by creating an unpeopled urbanscape Unverricht avoids his urban thriller descending into melodrama.

"If you like dark, dramatically lit realism.....Daniel Unverricht is throwing illumination on the bits and pieces of everyday, or overnight, life in small town New Zealand". - T J McNamara, The New Zealand Herald, 24/10/03

Daniel Unverricht's most recent solo shows were at Oedipus Rex Gallery, Auckland (Para-Noir 2003 and Small City 2004). He has an MFA from Elam, University of Auckland (2002).


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