You Want it Darker takes its title from Leonard Cohen’s fourteenth and final album, the soundtrack to which Australian abstract painter, Brett Weir made this body of work. Reflecting the lyrics of the title track, Weir’s works present a series of layers which contemplate the ruminations of time – present and passing.
In his working process, Weir applies and strips back layers of paint, creating a mixture of vibrant tones, patterns and gestures. In some works part of the aluminium base plate is left bare, in others there is a visible fluidity from the accumulation and mixing of material. The process is a poignant act. As Weir strips back and re-paints with a present perspective and knowledge he questions the continuation of dichotomies – what is included/excluded, what is silenced/expressed, what remains at the forefront, and who decides.
“100 years ago in Zürich, where I made these paintings, a group of artists calling themselves Dadaists commenced an act of artistic revolt against the tide of hatred and violence that culminated in the great war.
My latest paintings come a year after 2016’s so called Summer of Hate, and 100 years on from World War I. For many, circumstances have not improved. For the majority of westerners such as I, privileged with food, shelter and (relative) security, the echo’s of savage violence from certain corners of the world are a troubling, uncomfortable bleep on our radars. Through the abstract languages of colour and form, I am striving in my work and in my mind to traverse the space that lies between these disparate realities.
The title of this show is an ode to the late, great Leonard Cohen and an appropriation of his final album title, released in October 2016 – 19 days before his death; a sombre, poetic album on the fragility of the human condition, which seems pertinent today and functioned as a source of inspiration while I was working on this series.”
Zürich, July 2017