2 minute read

Introducing: Marion Abraham

Sullivan+Strumpf is delighted to introduce Marion Abraham to the gallery stable. Hailing from lutriwita (Tasmania), Abraham paints sweeping figurative compositions that reflect a distinct perspective of her rural surrounds in the green pastures of Molesworth. We look forward to presenting her debut solo exhibition at our Sydney space in October 2023.

By Chloe Borich

Marion Abraham is a painter who investigates inner workings of the self. Embracing a fiercely tangible approach to the medium, Abraham infuses subversive qualities with traditional painting techniques to execute dynamic compositions, focussing on romantic renderings of the body and the landscape. Guided by feminist instinct and a dark sense of humour, she melds quixotic and escapist notions, familiar clichés and suggestive language with the muddiness of the natural world. Through these thematic touchstones, she navigates ideas of the soul, reimagines power structures and centres the valorising of care.

The contents of Abraham’s works feel confidently unbridled. Driven by an uninhibited romanticism, she is “…attracted to violent and bombastic moments, riddled with wild rantings, covered in superficial beauty.” In her paintings, ideas are given permission to roam and become what time intends them to be, ultimately shaping energetic and compelling narratives that meld personal experiences with renowned historical art references.

There is a deliberate urgency to Abraham’s brushwork that wavers between brutality and tenderness; tension and softness; chaos and control. Drawing from years of experience working with ceramics, she realises her subjects on wooden board and canvas as if building them by hand. Gestural strokes of oil paint create bold forms that are at once strong and yielding.

Marion Abraham in her studio, 2023

Marion Abraham in her studio, 2023

Scenes are evocative of half-formed memories that have been conjured into existence. Blurred features and negative space gives way to strange and stirring moments that shape our personal and collective experiences. Bucolic landscapes are home to unlikely figures who appear unexpectedly throughout verdant fields. Clad in t-shirts and Adidas tracksuits, bodies are depicted in traditional compositions: tangled in passionate embrace, caressing small animals or poised on horseback as if about to charge. They are empowered by their fury and comfortable with their individuality.

Blistering and brooding, Abraham presents a refreshing contemporary take on the pastoral portrait. She relishes in the grimy nuances of a life lived honestly and effusively with an energy that transcends the edges of her paintings, unwittingly imprinting on the memory of the viewer.