Peter Poulet

A new suite of Peter Poulet's paintings is currently on show with – if not quite 'in' – Rogue Pop-up Gallery. The works reflect Poulet's interdisciplinary sensibility, as both an artist and architect, and his ongoing concerns with the animation of forms, and our relationships to natural and built space.

In one of Peter Poulet’s recent untitled paintings, something which could be a star sits in a space which could be a window to the night sky. These things could also be a yellow asterisk shape, enclosed within a circle, painted on a patch of deep blue which is itself framed into a rectangular field by other fields of black, white, orange. Forms, in Poulet’s painting, are lively: they shape each other, push each other through the space of the picture. In their liveliness too is the way that they flicker between representation and pure abstraction – between the star and the asterisk, between blue and the sky.

Poulet’s suite of recent paintings develop the balancing game he has been playing throughout his career between abstraction and representation – especially, representation of the natural and built environment. There are visual parallels, certainly between Poulet’s work and early twentieth-century Constructivist paintings: shared interests in shapes and the changes they wring upon each other, in primary colour, and in the energetic potential of line. There are also in these new paintings, more than ever, moments where the natural world seems to seep though, pulling the work out of ‘pure’ abstraction. 

Poulet’s artmaking has long been in symbiosis with his architectural practice, perhaps since his final architecture thesis at the University of Sydney – a suite of paintings – was passed to Frank Watters, who hosted Poulet’s first show at Watters Gallery in 1986. Interested in sustainability in his architectural work, Poulet brings the natural and the built into concert in his painting as well, modulating between organic irregularity and perfectly regular straight lines, and between paint that drips down the canvas (or more properly, the polyester) and scaffolded, highly-structured compositions. 

These paintings are currently on display with Sydney’s Rogue Pop-up Gallery, though the city currently is locked down, of course. Online viewing and enquiries, then, are the order of the day. Perhaps this slight abstraction of the works themselves from the built space of the gallery is perfectly fitting, given Poulet’s concerns – a mirroring of the work that his paintings do. 

Peter Poulet – An Exhibition of New Works
14 July – 15 August 2021
Rogue Pop-up Gallery Sydney

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