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Drawing on that sense of abstract

PUBLISHED: 14:32 02 February 2001 | UPDATED: 15:03 22 October 2010

The Little Tate Modern @ Elm Hill Contemporary Art, Norwich. By Richard Inman

The Little Tate Modern @ Elm Hill Contemporary Art, Norwich

By Richard Inman

A diverse range of materials and techniques are on show. Underlying the abstract art is a strong sense of drawing. Some work has an impressionistic, even romantic quality.

Zheni Warner works in layers of translucent colour. Racing lines form a theatrical frame for individual brush marks that appear like characters on a stage at the centre. These compositions have great depth, are iridescent and shine like a mirror.

In Brenda Unwin's compositions a finely-balanced linear drawing can be detected amidst clouds of colour. Unwin makes spacial windows her colour – often intense blues and Venetian red graduates into black, pictorial images as if out of focus.

Images by John Loker recall the pop art paintings of Joe Tilson. Shaped wood, like a windscreen wiper, sweeps an arc in thick paint. Much of Loker's work is inspired by a 10-week trip across Australia. His work is built in methodical layers. Simple forms evoke the character and atmosphere of a place experienced. The apparent simplicity is deceptive, colour temperature, the direction of each mark is meticulously controlled.

Settle by Andrew Cambel could have been called Deluge. It appears to be a traditional landscape composition but it also reads as a spacial abstract. Horizontal layers express the might of Earth's crust, house forms floating or buried represent the transitory nature of human dwellings. The sky worked with oblique strokes symbolises relentless rain.

Elizabeth Humphreys paints twists and cuts paper surfaces to make an “X” motif within a torn hovering shape.

Sian Bowen's works break from preconcep-tions about drawing. The surface is torn with great control to reveal copperplate writing beneath, thus fusing contemporary images with a more romantic past.

The exhibition is open 11am-5pm, Tuesday-Saturday, until February 28.


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