Niall de Buitléar, Push and Pull, at the RHA Ashford Gallery

Niall de Buitléar’s Push and Pull invokes antagonism and mechanism. These mostly acrylic-on-canvas board iterations express, in an unexpected drama underneath floated metaphysical speculations, the tense grip of we creatures on our objects. Black and white rule describes not binary absolutes, but the proximity of some temperament fixed in the dark of a private space; a domain tangible in these warped boards’ sheen of licked lacquer on canvas grain. Texture and method mistranslate preoccupying ideals into dog-eared produce of rainy days. The 14 tablets of black and white geometric topography figure Spartan spools of regular intervals, jarringly and yet foreseeably peaking in nipples, chasms of lushly subverted negation. Each vista is a vague anachronism: floor plans of prehistory or expected articles of a futuristic faith.

It is considered that those who fail to remember are condemned to repeat. Why are these nano-fantasies described in canvas and fine brushes? Why invoke infinity again, in familiar, unbending limitation? The regular beads of uneven distribution are fascinating. They are ambassadors of this cultic fallibility, their progress illuminated in beams skirting the apertures, the probing recesses of eyes, holes, ears. The throng has the pregnant awkwardness of a night-lit congregation of strangers. Groovy, weaving one-track minds, antagonistically separate and related, are mutually incriminating like ossified trophies high on ironic café walls. Fussy high fidelity is rendered a fraying rhetoric, replaying Minimalism in a retro soundtrack of individual endeavour. These narrative arcs recount formalisms and influencers ramifying dimly around us, the spluttered progeny of a remote, obdurate winding.

The light rail trivia of frank obsession are little architectures of confounding earnestness. Some marvel of lonely diligence, a self-anointed scientist, a needle in a groove, is observed out in the open, tending circles. The noisy diminution is the toll of overextension. The insistent conceits are so many intimate inscriptions.

Written by Danny Kelly

Danny Kelly is a painter based in Dublin.

Niall de Buitléar, Push and Pull is at the RHA Ashford Gallery, 19 January – 11 February 2018.