Richard van der Aa, Reasons to be cheerful:
Paris winter series no.13, 2009
Acrylic on paper, 19 x 24 cm
August 12-21, 2010
One of the streams in Richard van der Aas work of recent years is an ongoing series of paintings entitled Reasons to be cheerful. The Reasons to be cheerful paintings have been realised in a variety of forms and scales. From the tiny aluminium tablets which were shown throughout the Christchurch Art Gallery in 2006 as a part of the Out of Erewhon exhibition, to the bi-chromatic square panels exhibited recently at le Pavé dOrsay in Paris, the reasons consistently underline the comprehension that, above all, a painting is an object to be appreciated in relation to others, and in the context of the physical space of the showroom.
At Factory 49 van der Aa is presenting a fresh incarnation of this series. The group of works on paper subtitled Paris winter series is a series of simple compositions utilising a limited palette of three colours: (grey, white and a dirty cream the colours of Paris winter). The group of 25 small paintings can be read sequentially as each composition is born out of a formal adjustment made to the previous one. The emphasis is on relationships of form.
There is similarity and difference and a sort of visual logic at work, a sense that each painting is the natural extension of the system set up in the preceding pieces. Each one exists as a matter of course. Each one is a reason to be cheerful.
Richard van der Aa was born in New Zealand to Dutch parents and has lived in Paris since 2005 after spending 15 years in Sydney.