The West Australian
Hues of Haynes still surprise
Recent & Retrospective Paintings
The large oil paintings vibrating with warm and cool harmonies, some smaller ones curling off the walls in clean curves or, like the sculptural, virtuosic mazzocchios, bathing in their own halos, are for the most part semi-abstract landscapes, horizons over which peeks a rising or sinking sun, or the moon or sun glimpsed between a filigree profusion of leaves.
The small gouaches are more obviously representational, using restricted palettes — maybe hues, tints, tones and shades of the same colour, maybe analogous greens and yellows, or greens and blues. They are also quieter yet still capable of turbulence — piano fantasias to the oils’ symphonies.
This exhibition of new and earlier oil paintings and gouaches from the prolific brush of Kenya-born Perth artist George Haynes demonstrates that in this, his 80th birthday year, he has lost none of his ability to surprise and be surprised.
If the oil paintings such as On the Horizon and Across the River invite closer scrutiny by zooming in on intriguing rhythmic passages, the gouaches — all 23 x 31cm — are more windows opening outwards on to familiar rural and suburban cars, buildings, bridges, parks, ports and beaches.
Together, they paint a portrait of, above all, Haynes as both colourist and composer, luxuriating in the consonances and dissonances among violets, golds, indigos, ochres and umbers.
As Haynes writes in the accompanying book on the gouaches: “Chroma — the key. The key sets the mood — it gives colour to the music . . . all moods are expressible with different colour combinations.”