From the performance Red at Green on Red Gallery, 2015

From the performance Red at Green on Red Gallery, 2015

On September 11, Nigel Rolfe performed a new work entitled Red as part of this show, in which materials familiar from his forty year career played a significant role: flour, salt, milk, powdered pigment and the artist’s own unmistakable head. He used it like a paintbrush, swiping his face left and right across pages splattered with explosions of the titular colour, to produce a series of crimson works on paper which remain, alongside further evidence of the performance, in the gallery.

The bulk of the show consists of recent and re-iterated photographs, new pigment-on-paper works and prints. It features previously-seen imagery including Dust in Face Detail and works from his Blood of The Beast series, first produced in 1996. Dramatic, feathery black and white shots from his 1982 Wings of Fear series still impress, but it’s a shame not to encounter more brand new work.

Rolfe’s Red performance persuaded in the moment, due in no small part to its pulsating soundtrack of recorded emergency calls, layered sounds and voices, the effect of which was to engender low level, non-specific anxiety. As a performance artist, Rolfe follows a set of pre-ordained steps involving carefully selected props, using his body as a tool to make art that is painfully, quietly introverted despite its in-your-face blood-and-guts approach.

Green on Red Gallery, Spencer Dock, Dublin 1 until 24 October 2015.

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This