This collection involves some 80 works of oil on board that have been painted over 30+ years in 4 different countries. The common thread that holds the different works together is the artist's employment of vibrant colours to depict his dominant theme, the female figure, with a certain sense of joy.
The exhibition is a visual feast that fills two floors of the host building and attests to the artist's ability to take inspiration not only from his surroundings but from artists that have gone before him. One has to appreciate his tributes to Gauguin in the works Om (Peace) and The Indian Wedding, painted in Guyana, as they display the same sense of the exotic noted in the work of the past master. Then the young girl composed of a blue line drawn with a brush in The Magnolia Tree brings to mind Matisse. Despite his inspiration, all are uniquely Machielse's.
There is a sense of vibrancy in these paintings of dancing line and singing colour. Some works have smooth surfaces and a shiny finish that allow us to stand back and enjoy the full composition. Another Pose is a fine example as the subject, a young woman, sits with her folded arms resting on a table. Her honest smile and the domestic setting invites us into the room. Other works like A Face Sitting, have richly textured surfaces composed of bold brush work. These exhibits suggest the artist connects directly with his subjects enabling him to capture the mood of the moment and the animation of the subject with flair. With these images the viewer can trace the act of 'painting' - the making of marks, changes of direction, choice of brush, addition of colour accents, the whole creative effort. This makes for exciting viewing.
The difference between the fine and the frantic is best noted where the artist displays two images of the same subject. At the top of the stairs you find two interpretations of Woman Writing, one is 'finished' while the other seems a working sketch. It is the latter that holds our attention as it gives us sufficient information to decipher the image while leaving enough room for the viewer to engage their own creative eye. However, it must be said that the 'unfinished' painting works well because the painter can draw. And Machielse's works display, first and foremost, that he can draw, very well. Just have a look at his excellent portrait of our own Dr Fiona Wood, a drawing/painting that depicts not only the subject's physiognomy but her keen intelligence.
Take sufficient time to explore this interesting and well presented exhibition of exciting works of art. They are all delightfully refreshing.
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