Untitled: Topographic Drawing
2010 by Reuben Looyenga
‘Nothing to be Done’, Empire Gallery; http://www.ruebenlooyenga.com
Looyenga’s drawing is perhaps the most organic and intensely coloured piece in the fairly dull tones of Empire Gallery’s ‘Nothing to be Done’. Beige and taupe seem to dominate the canvases, but colour in Looyenga’s piece is bright and arresting. Made up of overlapping circles, colour is consistent but dips in and out of solid consistency; the same colours are repeated yet change as they are diluted and doubled with shape upon shape. The effect of this is one of process and interlocking, tying the composition together with colour that evolves. The pattern inside these circles is also incredibly organic; spreading like forms under a microscope, marbling in white, black and green, the images could be maps or miniature globes; they materialise and multiply, like little bubbles of life. The colours play with each other through these patterns — the black scattered throughout is slightly ominous, stamped darkly as the circles cross each other; juxtaposed with white, it immediately draws attention. The green is then almost acidic emerging out of this darkness; it becomes brilliant, glowing, energy-filled in comparison. There is something mystically absorbing in the atmosphere of Looyenga’s drawing, as it precisely pulls the viewer in through the intricacy of design and addictive repetitive pattern. Looyenga executes these drawings in graphite, ink and acrylic, fluid mediums for such a photographic effect, and she allows them to support her subject’s organic nature. These circles possess an air of reality underneath, as if they are showing us a cross-section of the world, exposing its teeming life internally.