What: New Paintings and Drawings by Andrew Macleod, Rachelle with Red Flower.
Where & when: Ivan Anthony Gallery, East Street, off Karangahape Rd, to March 3
You do not have to know the person in a portrait to admire it as fine painting. It may be an excellent likeness but the viewer, to whom the sitter is anonymous, can still find its vibrant and closely worked, handling of paint very attractive. What is created in this thoughtful, pensive work is a character with a distinct sense of personality. The immediateness of this confrontation is heightened by the tight framing of the image. One small detail is part of its overall painterly quality. In many portraits, lips have an uninterrupted smoothness but here they have the slight texture of reality. The red flower provides a vivid keynote essential to the painting as a whole. The artist is known for his large figure paintings but here shows the intensity he can bring to a small work.