For his first solo exhibition at Vane, Adam Burns presents a series of complex and elusive abstract paintings, exploring both the psychology and the emotional impact of colour. Precisely executed sequences of lines derived from multiple perspective points and painted planes of colour gleam in a pure virtual space.

However, a straightforward reading of the works as an homage to modernist minimalism is undermined by an impulsive, skewed geometry to the compositions and the lilting, subtle delicacy of the coloured surfaces, resulting in a series of ‘impossible spaces’ that shift between the illusive and the concrete.

Drawing on his study of the scientific exploration of colour as different wavelengths of electromagnetic energy, as well as the colour theories of artists (the metaphysics of Kandinsky and poetics of Matisse), Burns has developed a deeply personal and meditative practice. Painting onto clear acrylic and acetate sheets and using both sides of the surface, he meticulously applies translucent layers of oil paint. As light shines through the almost transparent paint and etched lines, ever-changing patterns and shadows are cast onto the gallery walls creating another level of spatial awareness. The optical effect of the inter-layered planes becomes increasingly complex as the viewer gazes into the work, dazzling the eye. By emphasising the deceptive qualities of the medium, Burns creates an illusion of infinite space, of weightlessness and transcendent luminosity.

Read Iris Priest’s essay Absolute Colour Space