Friday, 6 November 2015
I went to the opening of Alfons Bytautas's solo show at Newcastle Arts Centre last night and thoroughly enjoyed the work. I'm always interested to see paintings by Scottish artists and was intrigued to learn how he'd arrived in Newcastle. Turns out he's technician at Northumbria University, something I should have guessed by the majority of attendees standing in the middle of the room, backs turned to the paintings, chatting earnestly. Typical university liggers!
Bytautas is primarily an abstract painter and many are clearly based on grids. For the most part I liked them, although I found it difficult at times to shake off the idea that some of the newer work reminded me of hooky and proggy mats. Nowt wrong with proggy mats, of course.
The paintings I preferred were probably the earlier ones (why is that so often the case?): freer forms, more organic. And those where the colour was either partially contained by line or where the line tended to float free from the colour areas. They certainly gave me something to think about.