Chalk Horse is pleased to present a major new work by Jasper Knight. ‘Swanson Dock’ is Jasper Knight’s largest work on canvas to date and depicts the International shipping facility Swanson Dock. The site is a bustling shipping container terminal on the Yarra River in Melbourne and it’s red and yellow dockside gantry cranes make for a bold architectural subject. The exhibition also includes two mixed media collage studies for the major work. These collage works continue Knight’s interest in the relationship between material and subject through the use of materials like plywood and aluminium. ‘Where We’re Going We Don’t Need Roads’ is a show about colour, scale and surface while continuing the artists celebration of the industrial landscape.
The industrial architecture, with its solidity and span, is manifested in a work that in a painterly way also stretches beyond peripheral vision. Knight has always worked on the limit of figuration, finding subjects such as bridges, scaffolds, and wharves that when simplified in his signature style, recall boldly the experiments of high modernism. The scale in this work alludes to the scale of high modernism that we see in Jackson Pollock or the Australian practitioners now showing in the rebooted ‘Field’ exhibition at the NGV. So in the end is painting a large thing large a little joke against High Modernism’s vainglorious insistence on hugeness. If you can’t paint a crane large what can you paint big?